May 23, 2019 / 1:39 PM / 24 days ago

BT Group halves former CEO's bonus after investor disquiet

(Reuters) - Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile provider BT Group said on Thursday former Chief Executive Officer Gavin Patterson had agreed to a halving of his annual bonus.

FILE PHOTO: Gavin Patterson, when Chief Executive of BT Group, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

BT had said in December it planned to make changes to the way it decides management pay after some of its shareholders questioned Patterson’s bonus for 2018-19.

Investors had also complained after BT gave a more than 1 million pound ($1.3 million) bonus to Patterson in 2017-18, during which time the company’s stock tumbled 30%.

“The (pay) committee and Gavin agreed that a reduction of the total bonus outcome by 50% would be the right thing to do and in the best interests of all stakeholders,” BT said.

Patterson’s bonus for 2018-19 will now be 572,000 pounds compared with 1.3 million pounds a year earlier. His total salary for the year was 1.72 million pounds, BT’s annual report showed.

Patterson left BT at the end of January, handing over to Philip Jansen, a former Worldpay chief executive.

The telecoms giant had said a new leader was needed to restructure the company.

Patterson, who ran BT for almost five years, announced 13,000 job cuts last year in an attempt to get to grips with a host of problems including intense competition, an underperforming IT services unit, a huge pension deficit and criticism of its broadband plans.

But a failure to hit a revenue target and a forecast for no growth in profit for the next couple of years sent its shares to six-year lows.

(For a graphic on 'BT Group Underperforms European Rivals' click tmsnrt.rs/2X1JkKX)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter

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