BT chief executive Gavin Patterson will leave his post later this year following a backlash from shareholders over the company's disappointing stock performance.
The telecoms giant said the negative reaction to its latest results, which included the announcement of an extensive restructuring programme and 13,000 job losses to cut costs, had prompted the change in leadership
The process to appoint a successor is already underway with BT confident it will be in a position to announce a replacement over the coming months as it readies for a period of significant change.
BT chairman Jan du Plessis said: “The board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team. The broader reaction to our recent results announcement has, though, demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy.”
Patterson, a former Procter & Gamble marketer who has been at BT for 14 years, wrote: “It’s been an honour to lead BT since 2013 and serve as a member of the board for the last 10 years. Throughout that time I’ve been immensely proud of what we’ve achieved, in particular the transformation of the business in recent years with the launch of BT Sport, the purchase and integration of EE and the agreement to create greater independence for Openreach.”
BT has been put on the backfoot by disappointing financial results, forcing it to undertake an extensive restructuring programme that includes the loss of 13,000 jobs and a pull out from its flagship central London head office.
The company's shares have slumped to a six-year low.