BT Investors Revolt Against Pay Package of Gavin Patterson

By Chatham House (Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group) via Wikimedia Commons

During the annual meeting of the company that was held in Edinburgh today, BT faced down a revolt from its shareholders over its executive pay plan.

Over a third (34.2 percent) of the investors of BT voted against the remuneration report of the telecoms giant.

The annual report of the company that was released last May revealed that Patterson was paid £2.3 million in 2017, including a performance bonus amounting to £1.3 million. IT was revealed weeks after announcing a major plan on cost-cutting which involved the loss of 13,000 jobs and a move out of its headquarters in London.

The result will imply that BT will be placed on a public register of companies which have had more than 20 percent of the votes of shareholders against the executive pay.

The dissatisfaction of the shareholders with the performance of Patterson led to BT initiating the search for a new chief executive last June.

In a statement, BT disclosed that it was “naturally disappointed” by the lower level of support for the remuneration plan of the company.

It stated: “Historically both the remuneration report and our remuneration policy have received overwhelming shareholder support and over the past two weeks we have been in dialogue with our major shareholders and proxy advisers to discuss their questions and concerns.”

It continued: “During the remainder of 2018 we will 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.”

Various influential shareholder groups in the City had recommended that the investors vote against the report. Pirc argued that the report did not reflect recent share performance or  cost-cutting measures of Patterson.

Institutional Shareholder Services said that they had concerns regarding the bonus received by Patterson, which could pay out 130 percent of his basic salary.