back to article BT's outgoing CEO: He's officially gone, but he'll score £1m in pay, pension until Oct

Oh to be on the executive merry-go-round: BT CEO Gavin Patterson left his post on Friday, but will continue to rake in filthy lucre from the corp until the latter part of October – seven big ones to be precise. That is assuming he doesn't take up a job with a rival in the meantime. Patterson, who served his notice from 25 …

  1. djstardust Silver badge

    Oh well

    Another £2.99 per month on it's way to you soon ........

    (mind you, they've had price increases every 9 months for ages now so no change really .....)

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Oh well

      Nice to see that BT has no use for their CXO. Hopefully soon enough none of us will have a need for BT.

  2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    "Customary restrictions on working for competitors are in place"

    I thought EU employment law made that sort of thing illegal? Or are CXOs not covered because of their seniority?

    1. Popsi

      Gardening leave

      > I thought EU employment law made that sort of thing illegal?

      > Or are CXOs not covered because of their seniority?

      Yes and no. What's at work here is that Mr. Patterson is on gardening leave. He's still employed by BT - thus he can't work anywhere else - but he's not allowed to do anything. And BT can have him twiddle his thumbs as long as the check is paid every month.

      What you meant are restrictions after your current employer stop paying you. Those are problematic.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Gardening leave

        >He's still employed by BT - thus he can't work anywhere else

        Depends on how the contract is worded, most allow the employee to volunteer their time to the charitable sector or do unrelated work such as being a classroom helper (classroom assistants are often paid positions, but you or I can volunteer to help kids to read, do maths, play sport etc.)...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top work

    Pis*ed a ton of money up the wall chasing football rights, still made no dent in Sky's dominance.

    Everyone else picked up the tab to pay for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Top work

      I’d genuinely like to see the actual figures for the expenditure / income of BT Sports and whether it really is a loss maker that every other BT customer is paying for.

  4. Spamfast
    Devil

    Who you know.

    Nothing to do with adding value to the business once you've sleezed your way in.

    Search "remuneration committee".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT

    needs huge changes made. Lots of senior management in Adastral/Ipswich/Leavesden with no views on the wider BT. People waiting for their pensions to come to fruition with little want or need to change behaviours and stifle any optimisation on how they operate.

    Needs changes to customer process and the tools that support it.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: BT

      People waiting for their pensions to come to fruition with little want or need to change behaviours and stifle any optimisation on how they operate.

      I'm unsurprised. I work for a business that many decades ago was public sector. Virtually nobody now is left from those days, but the culture is enduring - obfuscation, delay, decision-aversion, and waiting for (still) generous pensions, or the very generous severance terms available every time there's a modest cull.

      Changing the entire culture of a large business is easy to describe. It starts with transparency at the top, clear leadership, well defined and well communicated targets, all incentives linked to performance of those goals, and holding all senior managers to account - no excuses, no waffle. I've work for decades in this space for a range of different sectors and businesses, and I can assure you that it really is as simple as that. On the other hand, actually implementing that, now that's VERY difficult, which is why you rarely see it done, and instead underperforming behemoths like HP, IBM, BT continue to lumber on, saddled with over-paid boards possessed of no real strategy other than sacking staff, and hoping that they can buy their way out of a rut of low growth and decline.

      When you do see culture change done, it's almost always because somebody has a very strong personal financial interest in the outcome. Half of me says that the new boy has to be better than Patterson, but he'll need a very strong constitution to make BT a modern business, and sadly I'd put my money on the corporate culture (and entrenched senior managers) winning, not him. And we have to remember he's only paid to make shareholders better off. He's only on the hook for improving Britain's telecoms infrastructure or BT service if those deliver a better outcome for shareholders.

      A thought experiment: A million quid cash salary sounds a cool number (with two or three times as much as bonus, maybe). Would you take on a gig like CEO of BT? Never far from the headlines; Laden with obstructive recidivists in your own management, and belligerent unions; Your every move and decision scrutinised; Your commercial hands tied by a vast pension fund deficit; Every time something nasty crops up your senior managers just pass it straight up the tree; Forever having investors, other companies, charities, politicians, journos all demanding a slice of your time with promises that its in your own interests; And probably a sixty hour minimum working week, every week. Not something I'd want.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: BT

        For £3-4 million I'd be willing to risk it. Even if I completely sucked and I got fired then I'd still enjoy spending it....

        Now where's my copy of the FT's How To Spend It...

        1. Grenou

          Re: BT

          With that attitude you're not likely to get the job..

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: BT

        I worked at Martlesham - the culture you mention - obfuscation, delay, decision-aversion only came in with privatisation. We had technology there that BT would love to gave now but they filled the place with accountants and introduced and internal market et voila "Your every move and decision scrutinised"

        The pension fund defecit was their own making - they could have put money into it - they would have just had to pay a little tax but they knew the moronic tory government that had privatised BT had said they would cover any defecit of all the people like me they made redundant.

        Your rant is so far from the reality I remember I can only guess you got it from the tory handbook of making up shit.

        1. telecine

          Re: BT

          Exactly the same experience at the BBC. A thriving organisation (when I joined in the 80s) was utterly destroyed with the arrival of John Birt (darling of the tories) filling it with accountants and consultants ... followed rapidly a ridiculous internal market and everything being monetised ...

          I’m at a loss as to how anyone thinks this way of running companies actually does any good . It always seems to destroy so much , apart from line the pockets of a few .

          The BBC is a husk now and costs even more to run than it did before they started .... well done bean counters !

      3. Popsi

        Would you take on a gig like CEO of BT?

        To answer your question: Sure, where do I need to sign up?

        The big advantage of being a CEO (or other high level manager) is that you can't do wrong, as long as you don't draw the attention of the SEC / Feds / Inspector Knacker. Today I'd add the risk of #metoo to that list.

        Even if you do wrong, you always have the the following list of valid excuses:

        - Your predecessor. (Works only for a limited time)

        - The competition didn't do better

        - Unions / EU-legislators blocked all the cunning plans from being a success

        - The Chinese / online companies entered the marked and ruined it

        - It's a recession / tsunami / Brexit or some other reasons why punters don't consume enough

        And what happens in the end? You get the boot and a golden parachute allowing you to retire or you get hired by another clueless company needing your experience. Worst case you become a speaker for hire on various junket-conferences.

        All you need is a thick skin and the capacity to spout enough buzzwords per minute (bpm) to keep the vultures from landing.

        If you're marginally competent at the game, you'll do a big reorganisation, merge with or acquire some other big business in the same dire straits as you. Failing this, you can also spin off various division or sell them. All this makes you look active and leader-ly while making sure last years numbers can't be compared with next years.

      4. HmmmYes Silver badge

        Re: BT

        I dont think culture change is possible at ex public sectory/civil servicey type orgs.

        Ive seen loads and, unfortunately, had to work with quiet a few.

        I think the only way to to change is to sack everyone and start agian from scratch.

  6. steviebuk Silver badge

    Oh to be a CEO

    And to be a shit one yet still get paid loads :(

    I'm a good tech, no way an expert but a good a loyal one but I've always gotten peanuts. Maybe cause I can't stand bullshit speak and can't lie or kiss arse. If I could, I could be a consultant.

  7. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    given a £1.3m bonus in 2018 despite overseeing a hefty double-digit slump in BT's share price.

    So as the CEO at BT you don't even have to be competent and you get a bonus. Where do I sign up!.

    Obviously the old adage of honesty is the best policy is bullshit nowadays

  8. The Nazz Silver badge

    Nissan UK

    Some 30 years ago (thereabouts, doesnt time fly?) there was a true case where an ordinary geezer somehow blagged himself a very, very top job with Nissan UK without any necessary credentials or experience. AFAIK he didn't provide any fraudulent documents, he just winged it.

    It was 10 months before he was rumbled as not being fit for purpose. IIRC by his own admission, he hadn't done much at all in that time and was surprised it took that long. Must've earned, well been paid, a good wedge in that time.

    BT CEO for a million quid? Absolutely, bring it on immediately. I'd only need to work 3 months then i'd be out of there.

  9. BigCol

    Hopefully the current re-org will drive the kind of change that we need to see in BT. As an employee, it feels like the current re-org is different from previous re-orgs. Everyone in BT needs to buy into it, and I think most are.

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