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BT faces shareholder revolt over chief exec's pay

MORE THAN a third of BT shareholders voted today against outgoing chief executive Gavin Patterson’s bumper £2.3 million pay packet.

Mr Patterson was paid a £1.3m annual bonus for 2017 — on top of his basic salary of £997,000 and £299,000 in pension contributions — despite the BT share price falling by around 25 per cent.

The company announced last month that it would replace Mr Patterson later this year, after nearly five years in post.

His £2.3m haul, which represents a £1m rise in annual pay , was disclosed in May, just weeks after BT announced that it was slashing 13,000 jobs, two-thirds of them in Britain.

BT’s remuneration report, which includes Mr Patterson’s 2017 payout, was rejected by 34 per cent of investors at its AGM in Edinburgh yesterday.

The company is still dealing with the aftermath of an accounting scandal at its Italian division, which resulted in a £530m write-down and a major fall in its share price last year.

It is also vacating its central London headquarters as part of a cost-cutting drive aimed at saving about £1.5 billion.

BT said it was “naturally disappointed with the lower level of support received for our remuneration report,” adding that it understood this to be “in the most part attributable” to Mr Patterson’s bumper bonus.

It added that it would “engage further with our shareholders and proxy advisers to understand in full detail the reasons for their concerns and whether we should consider any changes to our longer-term approach to remuneration.”

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