December 18, 2018 / 11:59 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-BT rethinks executive pay strategy after investors question CEO bonus

(Adds details on shareholder concerns, annual pay)

Dec 18 (Reuters) - UK’s embattled BT Group Plc said on Tuesday it planned to make changes to the way it decides management pay, after its outgoing chief executive officer’s bonus was questioned by some of its shareholders.

Investors have expressed disappointment with the company’s executive compensation after it gave more than 1 million pounds in bonus to CEO Gavin Patterson in a year when BT’s stock has tumbled 30 percent.

The company said it would look to take steps, including considering a broader range of performance factors and wider circumstances, when deciding on pay.

“The board was naturally disappointed with the overall voting outcome,” BT said in a statement, referring to more than a third of the shareholders at its annual meeting in July voting against the remuneration report.

Some shareholders, who voted against the pay report, believed that the amount paid to Patterson did not appropriately reflect the underlying performance of the company or take adequate account of the value created for shareholders, the telecom group said.

Patterson was paid a base salary of 997,000 pounds for 2017-2018 year, plus an annual bonus of 1.3 million pounds. He did not receive a bonus the previous year.

Shareholders also expressed concerns about the timing of the decision to pay the bonus, given the announcement in June that Patterson was stepping down.

BT chairman had said the company was not confident that Patterson could execute its strategy as a reason for his departure.

The company named co-CEO of payment processing firm Worldpay , Philip Jansen, to the top job in October. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D’Silva)

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