BT
Patterson will be replaced this year.

The BT chief executive, Gavin Patterson, is to step down from the group after investors expressed a lack of confidence.

The telecoms giant poor results had prompted the move and expects a replacement will be found for Patterson by the second half of the year.

“The board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team,” said the chairman of BT, Jan du Plessis.

“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.”

The departure of the current chief executive comes following a backlash from shareholders about his ambitious restructuring plan revealed four weeks ago.

Patterson’s cost-cutting plan involved cutting 13,000 jobs and moving the headquarters out of central London after 150 years. The restructuring plan and missed profit targets sent shares in the group plummeting to a six-year low.

The news of Patterson’s replacement was welcomed by investors, shares rose 2.5 percent to 208p adding £400 million in value to the lender.

Patterson said: “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 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.”

“While BT is a very demanding business, with multiple stakeholders, we do have significant opportunities ahead of us. I am confident that, for the remainder of his term, Gavin and his senior management team will continue to display the energy required to deal with every dimension of the task at hand,” he added.