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BT share price: Chief executive faces investor backlash

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BT Group’s (LON:BT.A) chief executive Gavin Patterson is facing investor backlash, with shareholders having called for meetings with the company’s chairman to discuss his future, the Financial Times has reported. The news comes after the former telecoms monopoly recently posted a fall in annual revenue and announced plans to axe about 13,000 jobs over the next three years.

BT’s share price has gained ground in London in today’s session, having added 0.94 percent to 208.03p as of 10:31 BST, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.69 percent higher at 7,754.82 points.

BT boss faces investor backlash

The FT reported this morning that five big shareholders who spoke to the newspaper anonymously, each among BT’s top 20 investors, had expressed reservations about chief executive Gavin Patterson’s stewardship.

“I don’t have much faith in Gavin,” one shareholder told the FT. “Since he took over [five years ago], it has not been a happy time for shareholders. I am not sure he is the right man for the job.” A top 20 shareholder meanwhile disclosed to the newspaper that it had requested a meeting with chairman Jan du Plessis to discuss the chief executive’s future.

BT’s chairman has reportedly held meetings with top shareholders in the run-up to the telco’s strategy announcement and will hold further meetings with investors ahead of the annual meeting on July 11.

The news follows the telco’s recent annual report which showed that Gavin Patterson had landed £2.3 million for the previous financial year, up from £1.35 million for the prior-year period, mostly on account of his annual bonus. The report further revealed that his bonus would have been larger had he not volunteered to have it capped.

Analysts on former telecoms monopoly

Numis Securities reaffirmed BT as a ‘buy’ last week, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip telco currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 293.71p.

As of 10:53 BST, Monday, 04 June, BT Group plc share price is 207.95p.

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