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Ian Livingston Walks Away as UK BT Group CEO Feeling £9m Richer

Saturday, Sep 21st, 2013 (7:38 am) - Score 2,309

BT Group’s departing CEO, Ian Livingston, will be foregoing around 2.5 million shares in the telecoms giant as a result of taking up an unpaid post as the Government’s Minister of State for Trade. But the operator has granted him 1.8 million deferred shares, plus another 800,000 as a bonus, which is worth close to £9 million.

The operators remuneration committee felt it was “appropriate for Ian to receive the above shares given the major contribution he has made to BT’s turnaround in recent years, which has seen the company’s share price rise in recent days to a twelve year high“.

Meanwhile the new CEO, Gavin Patterson, will initially receive a base salary of £925,000, which BT said, “continues to be positioned in the lower half of the pay range for CEOs of companies of a similar size“. But Patterson’s CEO bonus has been restructured to mean that his short-term bonuses will be smaller but the long-term rewards for “‘on target’ performance” could be significantly higher.

Sir Michael Rake, Chairman of BT, added:

Ian has done a wonderful job for BT and so this is clearly reward for success. BT is a far healthier company than it was when he took over as CEO and I am confident it will continue to thrive under Gavin’s leadership. We have some tremendous foundations to build on now and there are exciting times ahead.”

It’s easy for an ordinary person on the street to view such payments with envy, anger and or perhaps even jealousy. But in fairness even Livingston’s £9 million pay-out is nothing compared to the former CEO of Virgin Media, Neil Berkett, who walked away with around £13.2m in cash and stocks plus a “long-term incentive plan” that amounted to around £45.2m (here).

Now let’s not forget that these are individuals who run big commercial companies that employ thousands and thousands of people right across the country and add billions to the economy each year. Contrast that with Footballers, for example, Spanish club Real Madrid’s payment of around £86 Million for ex-Tottenham Hotspur player Gareth Bale (Cristiano Ronaldo was only worth £80m by comparison.. poor poor fella). Many people complain but supporters still go to their games.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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