Skip Navigation

Gavin Patterson to take CEO role of BT Group from September
Wednesday 19 June 2013 14:04:53 by John Hunt

BT have announced a new CEO will take over from September following the news that Ian Livingston is to become Minister of State for Trade and Investment in the UK government. Gavin Patterson, the current head of BT Retail, will take the new role as Chief Executive of BT Group.

"It is a privilege to have been offered the position of chief executive of BT Group, and I am delighted to accept.

The company is in a strong place. We have great opportunities ahead and are well placed to take advantage of them, in the UK and internationally. We have the people, the technology and the plans we need to build on our current successes. I look forward to leading a dynamic team to ensure we do just that."

Gavin Patterson, future CEO of BT Group

Livingston took the role from the former CEO Ben Verwaayen back in June 2008, again being promoted from BT's consumer division to run the group as a whole.

"It has been an incredibly hard decision to leave BT at such an exciting time. However, the opportunities ahead and the strength of the management team that Gavin will lead mean that the company is in a great position.

I am immensely proud to have led this company over the last five years. We have made huge progress over the last few years but I know there is still so much more that BT can and will do."

Ian Livingston, outgoing CEO of BT Group


Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
That's the end of trade and investment in this country then...
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
shaun - interesting view as he has overseen and 25bn investment of company money to past in excess of 15m home is 4 years from a standing start with no public money --
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
sorry 2.5bn
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
Could have fooled me. I'm not really sure what miracles they've performed.

None of that investment improved anything at my house. FTTC is all around me, but not there for me, with my wretched exchange only phone line.

They should have rolled out FTTP and had done with it. Now that would have been "proper" investment.

Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
programme not finsihed till spring 2014 -- - ps how close to the exchnage is our premise
Posted by mhc over 4 years ago

Have known for a few days ... will it bring any changes? Probably not.

Posted by mdar5 over 4 years ago

Look on the bright side: The usual moaners, whingers, tosspots etc will not be able to claim that the Minister of State is a career politican with no experience of running a business.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
lol, shaunhw so because you don't have FTTC the man has done bad? :)
Posted by Spectre_01 over 4 years ago
The great thing about a company like BT is the management seem to move on pretty quick. Piss your boss or his boss off, and as long as you still have your job then you get a fresh start with a new manager after 18months.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
> I'm not really sure what miracles they've performed.

And you represent the entire country? Wow. I thought there were 61 million people living here and I'm /sure/ that it's not just me now has FTTC.
Posted by debbiel over 4 years ago
good luck ian if he does as good a job there as he did at bt the nation will be laffing
Posted by bcs over 4 years ago
It's a shame that my overriding desire to comment here is on more on the childish comments and inappropriate language used. I really hope this isn't a sign of the sort of people this site attracts now.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
The comments that break moderation rules do get removed.
Posted by omnius over 4 years ago
Good luck to the guy, he has some seriously big shoes to fill. So where's Mr Livingston going to then????
Posted by ElBobbo over 4 years ago
Someone is calling BT's sorry excuse for FTTC a miracle?

The only result of this appointment to government will be perpetuating the cronyism so deeply rooted in our government.
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
to be fair it is a miracle, ian got theose tight shareholders to part with a few billion and the first investment in the local loop for decades :D
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
I am sure he will do well, but let's not loose sight that £2.5bn has not been itemised to any great degree, and the rural contracts are hidden behind confidentiality agreements, including the coverage details.

As Minister I wonder if he support additional transparency and VFM for public sector contracting.
Posted by mdar5 over 4 years ago
Do you even bother to actually read articles before commenting on them - or do you just read the headline.
'cos asking where Mr Livingston is going just makes you look very very stupid.

So pray tell us with your superior knowledge of these things who exactly you would like to be Trade Minister.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
VFM, the 2.5bn is their own commercial rollout I'm not sure they need to make any itemisation available to the public do they? Its an in house project for them
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
GMAN99 indeed correct - thus the propaganda should be questioned and open to scrutiny, to date £600m was mentioned in the 2011 annual report referenced as an accumulated spend, and £300-£400m for each of -12-13-14 which puts it closer to £1.8m - half of which is capitalised labour and associated allocations of common costs.

It is relevant as it subsequently dictates how costs are to be subsequently recovered.

It is also relevant when state aid is being 'matched' to secure once in a generation upgrades.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
sorry £1.8bn.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
There's always a conspiracy a foot ;)
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
GMAN99 please, these numbers are in BT presentations and their annual accounts. You see them in the material on the btplc results page.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
lol, no I believe you. I think (somewhere) they did say they'd set aside 2.5billion whether more of less is spent time would tell.

Hopefully they'll come in under and can choose some rural locations to spend the rest on.
Posted by omnius over 4 years ago

sure have a go at me just because i dont know where the big shiny government office is, or even if there is a office and he just works from home and go's to a yearly meeting in dubi at our expence, fao andrew, guess this website is just for the intellectual elite, dont worry i wont be back!!
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
GMAN99 - the rural investment of 'up to' £1bn was in addition to £2.5bn. See Hansard - House Of Lords Broadband hearings. I will get you the dates, Sean Williams made this an explicit offer.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
there are 2 programmes i commercxal (2.5bn) due to finish spring 14 and 1 BDUKprogramme those are very seperate programmes
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
interstuing commentfrom GMAN some of the later phases have much smaller / less populated exchange suchs Turgis Green and others that i could mention (some in the 3000, 4000 premises bracket -- there will awayds be expections to that of course
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
VFM are you talking about BDUK?

What I'm saying is that 2.5billion was reserved for their commercial rollout which covers (I guess) any area that is commercially viable whether that is urban or rural. I'm saying if they come in under that figure maybe they could use what is left for some of the harder to reach areas which might be borderline in terms of being viable, but totally separate to BDUK
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

is that £1BN match funding for BDUK or specifically for rural? There is a tendency for media and politicians to requote BDUK as rural.... when it isn't.
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
I think you've got to look at what BT achieved compared with how some other, much poorer countries have advanced. Many of them seemed to have leapfrogged well in front of us, in recent years for connectivity and speeds. Also there are still many UK areas stuck on very slow speeds with no intention to upgrade them.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
themanstan - they were the words recorded in Hansard during the HOL hearings - july 2011 very specific and BT had fourteen days to change.

EU state aid clearance states rural 4 times Sj33671, urban in-fill needs a new application.

GMAN99 - Commercial rollout is at BT's discretion so the 2.5bn like broadband can also be 'up to'.
Posted by tommy45 over 4 years ago
@undecidedadrian I would take the IWF 's claims with a pinch of salt re:the P2P bit. Just an excuse to have another go at the evil P2P AKA file sharing,
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
shaunhw , nice soundbite but is that reality? looks like the UK is doing well
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
Quote "Many of them seemed to have leapfrogged"

Which ones? Too many comments make sweeping generalisations based on opinion not fact - see above for plenty of examples. It would be good to see people being more specific - hopefully when they conduct the research to allow them to do so they many realise they were misinformed.
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
Well, I have contacts with some Romanians and some Ukrainians involving my work and they BOTH now have faster connections than I do, >50mbyte/sec and I am talking about my work connection (not my home one now) in the town centre. Just Six years ago they were both on dial up speeds....
Meanwhile just across the dual carriageway our ancient FTTC less cabinet still has "Post Office Telephones" stamped on it....
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
So in Rotherham, neither my home, nor my workplace gets FTTC speeds... Even though both exchanges support it. It makes me wonder who exactly does get it round here... Neither is Virgin available at either place, but that's not BT problem. But at work in an industrial area near a town centre with a cabinet marked "Post Office Telephones" and no FTTC ? Some "investment" that is.
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
My girlfriend - She gets a miserable 2meg/sec if she's lucky on an exchange marked "NC" for FTTC...
No cable either. That's it for them.

Some "investment" that is eh ? The only person I know who got BT FTTC manages to get 12meg/sec up from about 2mbyte/sec.

My parents can't get FTTC, they like me, are on an exchange only line.
Posted by professor973 over 4 years ago
@ omnius Yes, a great deal of the content here is belittling others from their high horse, though to be fair you will find that with most forums. Probably due to many users having no life away from a keyboard.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
Shaunhwn both Rotherham and Rotherham north are now enabled exchanges for FTTC -- need to check to see if you cabinet has or is being done - have you checked recently or looked to see if a DSLAM cab has been stood near your green box -- dont forget not all cabs that are included will go live at the same time
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I'll put good money on that not all Romanians and Ukrainians can get 50Mbps access, just like you can't (but many others can) get fast access here it will be the same in those countries. That doesn't really backup your post about many countries leapfrogging the UK, as I say look at that link to another article on this site and a comprehensive report
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
First investment for the new Minister to confirm will be from June 12 House O Lords
Steve Williams BT Director of Group Strategy, ….We are willing to spend a further £1 billion (in addition to the £2.5bn) or so of BT’s capital to match Government funding to do that, to roll it out into the final third, and to get as far as we possibly can into the final third….

Will the NAO be able to confirm this offer of £1bn capex investment has been unambiguously contracted for and will be spent before or in parallel to the BDUK state aid?
Posted by BTfanboy over 4 years ago
censorship to anyone who calls out the lies of the BT fanboy prpaganda officials here like gmann? just rename this site btthinkbroadband
you ain't fooling anyone. no one listen to gmann he's just satisfying his paymasters by glossing over their rubbish.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 1 day ago
The comments that break moderation rules do get removed.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

it will be interesting to see what BT classifies as having been spent for final third. e.g. whether they include Cornwall and NI as being part of the spend or not... all the major players are going right up to the wire on accounting and planning. VM with wholesale and BT with the implied "creativity" in their accounting.
Posted by mervl over 4 years ago
Just wondering: is it that the talent pool among elected politicians is so poor? There might be a bigger problem.
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
fastman - Office is on Rotherham exchange - but we're connected to a cab with "Post Office Telephones" which it seems they've no intention of upgrading. At home on the Wickersley exchange some houses NEARER the exchange get FTTC but we're on an EO line, so can't get either it, or Digital Regions equivalent. At work we could get Digital Region now, but that's not because of BT's investment.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@themanstan - indeed, including Cornwall and NI not a problem. There was £15m state aid in the 2013 accounts this year but no information on what it relates too. If Cornwall then they have gone past 50% for less 25% of the state aid available. It will be great the new Minster for Trade and Investment can clarify these points for his own company before he begins seeking investment from others.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
To quote: "We have the people, the technology and the plans we need to build on our current successes."

This is a joke, isn't it?
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Maybe that's the reason for the increase in projected coverage from 80% to 95% in the recent Cornwall news.
If that is the case then all makes sense as the more isolated are more costly.
Posted by ElBobbo over 4 years ago
@mdar5 it's called a "conflict of interest". Similar to when a minister retires and is put on the board of a company in the sector he directly oversaw during his tenure; it's corruption, funneling money from the taxpayers to corporations.
Posted by ElBobbo over 4 years ago
@New_Londoner according to Akamai's State of the Internet report (Q4 2012), the UK's average connection speed is 12th in Europe at 6.299Mbps. "Leapfrogging us" is Latvia, with 71.57% broadband adoption (compared to the UK's 64.4%) and 8.878Mbps average connection speed. Latvia.

Romania's notable with 7.043Mbps @ 65.88% and the Czech Republic with 8.126Mbps @ 72.15% adoption.

How's that for sweeping generalizations and misinformation? You should do some research before denigrating others.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
Yes that is a huge sweeping amount of misinformation.

Because the 3 sets of numbers quoted frankly without any form of statistical analysis may not be significantly different.

That is the problem with the internet lots of numbers being thrown about but very little understanding pinning anything down.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
themanstan 80-95% was driven the dynamic of VDSL being a overlay network and its being comparatively cheap to do - but appreciating BT is very very good at managing its suppliers. BT also dropped the FTTP target which will release a big amount in any plan where this was originally budgetted.

I do not think there is a conflict of interest but a wonderful Yes Minister/Civil Servant way of securing the BT promise of £1bn. Apologies to GMAN99 this is a conspiracy theory. Lord Glasgow of Celtic to CEO of Openreach - now about this £100k cabinet?
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
The UK was in 10th place in the percentage coverage of SuperFast, in that EU report card.

However, in terms of the number of premises that the percentage represented... the UK had covered about the same number of premises as all 9 other (higher-placed) countries combined.

UK: 16.5 million total covered
9 Others: 17.6 million

Latvia has 0.6 million premises covered by SFBB.

The same report card had the UK as 2nd in Europe for broadband take-up at 86% of households, second only to Sweden.

Research & statistics: wonderful tools to back up whatever point you want to make.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@VFM: My running total of the 25 BDUK contracts signed so far reaches £1.3bn, of which:
- £465m from BT
- £300m from local gov
- £284m from BDUK
- £145m from EU

That doesn't include Cornwall or NI. It does include BT's portion of the Highlands project, but I'm in doubt as to whether that is a BDUK project, and what the local/scottish/central funding shares are there.
Posted by ElBobbo over 4 years ago
@WWWombat you'll have to excuse me if I think that 24mbps is not "Superfast" and so having theoretical "coverage" is therefore especially unimpressive. Actual connection speeds are a much better indicator of BB development.

@undecidedadrian did you have something of value to add? An educated opinion, perhaps? A statistical meta analysis? Coherency?
Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
Nope I can't be bothered to do F or T tests or any other statistics on those numbers you posted.

But that is the whole point that is all they are just numbers posted up trying to prove your point with no understanding trying to put down and belittle somebody else.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@wwwombat that the press releases, it does not mean an Auditor can find the adequate visiility in the contract.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Remember Akamai is not the most accurate of researchers! Recall the Oxford fiasco!
Posted by uniquename over 4 years ago
A person who got to the top of the BT Group and held the post for five years probably has a huge amount of talent.

I look forward to seeing your name in lights on your reaching the same sort of heights in years to come.
Posted by mervl over 4 years ago
@uniquename. Happily I think you're right on the first point and absolutely no chance on the second!
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
I believe he will be an excellent minister. Let's hope he tries hard to get a major non-UK company investing in UK fibre broadband...

On the other hand, BT should find 'lobbying' a touch easier....:-))
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@mikejp If the £2.5bn cannot be fully tracked in BT's accounts in a transparent manner and the £1bn is not contracted for in a fully transparent manner he may become known as the Minister for Virtual Investment.

This may be well be the best he can do in the circumstances he faced, so the 'virtual' labwl is a little unkind but the numbers will need to be unpicked so the taxpayer can get value for money and rural users get more than the minimum BT is willing to provide, while boasting of something more.

Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
@VFM if you feel that strongly about BT not being able to account for the money it has borrowed from the markets perhaps you should write your concerns to the Auditors of BT's accounts and ask them to look into the matter.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@undecidedadrian - As a private shareholder you get diverted to BT's online shop and offers for shareholders. Auditors have met their legal obligations, not interested.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
@VFM there is no obligation for any company to provide the level of detail for private initiatives that you are interested in. As it often contains commercial in confidence information, such as pricing details between supplier and buyer. It will be the supplier as much as BT that will not want that information made public.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@themanstan understood, companies I hope you agree should be accountable for the statements the make in the press. The matters discussed above which impact all UK users, including a large number where state aid is being used should be clearer. The NAO report may yet provide some assurance.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
I agree, where public funds are used there should be a degree of transparency. Again not complete, but restricted access for accountancy purposes like the NAO. The ideal is where accredited accountants are used where they report that figures add up and that claims of expenditure are verified. Yet where a whistleblower will lose their accreditation should they "report" outside their remit. This protects both parties and keeps confidential commercial sensitive and public has trust that both parties expended funds in a fiduciary manner.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
exchange sensitive for information... spent too much time today looking at excel spreadsheets :oP
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@themanstan indeed as long as the accountants have not being doing banking audits and tie their audits can be related meaningful t+m work. Cabinets should not be cost more than a 3G basestation/antenna installation. Whistleblowers can lose out if someone else leaks their work if the finders are not being pursued.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@themanstan - its much simpler. This 6 months of planning could be used to establish an accurate set of incremental costs. We are not then reliant on some obscure modelling dreamt up in Whitehall or Newgate street.

The Framework is needed to establish a legal relationship, but the costs must be based on actuals.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Always nice, that despite having differences in opinion, where there is convergence of ideas/ideals it give a nice feeling that there is rightness in the world! Even if the world in reality does not live up to those ideals.
Posted by lockyatlrg over 4 years ago
Who am I going to moan at now when my BT internet goes tits up.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.