BT boss Gavin Patterson stepping down later this year

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BT boss Gavin Patterson stepping down later this year

Jan du Plessis, the chairman of BT, said: "The Board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team".

Despite the long-evident pressure on the former telecom monopoly boss, the timing of Friday's announcement left some investors puzzled, coming barely a month after a strategy update that included the board's support for Patterson.

Patterson stepped up to the top job in 2013, replacing Ian Livingston who joined the House of Lords, having been appointed as the managing director of BT Consumer back in 2004 and appointed to the board in 2008. The firm has faced endless criticism for its handling of the UK's broadband infrastructure through its Openreach division too, although Patterson managed to avoid a full break-up of the two companies.

He will step down when a successor is in place, likely in the second half, BT said in a statement yesterday.

At the height of Patterson's tenure, BT stock reached a 15-year peak shortly after his record bet on U.K. Premier League soccer TV rights and the acquisition of British wireless venture EE from Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA.

At the same time, Patterson was embroiled in fractious talks with Britain's telecoms regulator Ofcom about the fate of Openreach, which runs the national broadband network.

Shares in the company are at a six-year low and three weeks ago it announced an ambitious restructuring including 13,000 job cuts. The first and most important is the share price.

Jan du Plessis, Chairman of BT said: "Gavin has been with BT for just over 14 years and I want to thank him for his contribution to our business during that time, in particular during the nearly five years that he has served as Chief Executive".

"BT is a great business and with the new management team I've recently put in place, is I believe very well positioned to thrive in the future".

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