BT to cut 4,000 jobs and CEO bonus

UK’s BT is set to cut 4,000 jobs following a “challenging” year that has seen its chief executive stripped of his annual bonus amid a 19 per cent fall in profits to £2.4 billion (€2.8bn).

The group’s outgoing finance director, Tony Chanmugam, was also stripped of bonuses.  The moves follow BT’s accounting scandal in Italy which helped wipe billions from the company’s stock market value earlier this year.

Commenting on the bonus decisions, the chair of its remuneration committee Tony Ball said: “The past year has been challenging. Although good progress has been made in a number of areas, unfortunately our performance has been significantly affected by the accounting irregularities in our Italian business, the issues that arose in Openreach around deemed consent and the significant challenges we faced in the UK public sector and international corporate markets. The committee has made a number of difficult decisions this year in light of these circumstances and exercised its discretion accordingly.”

“This has been a challenging year, but BT remains well positioned for the future,” the company said. “Our strong businesses, underlying operational performance and financial returns show BT has the strength and breadth to withstand setbacks.”

Amid the gloom, BT TV and BT Sport fared better, adding some 11,000 subscribers in the quarter.

In a company statement, BT said: “In February, we won an improved set of exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League until the end of the 2020/21 season. These rights further complement our sporting line-up, which includes top tier football from the Premier League and FA Cup, as well as live rugby, cricket, UFC, and now boxing.  We’ve given free access to the BoxNation channel to all BT Sport customers and at least 20 Saturday night events, including World, European, Commonwealth and British title fights, will be shown on BT Sport channels.  We’re also pleased to be the first operator to offer Dolby Atmos sound.”

“Our TV customer base continues to grow and during the quarter we added 11,000 new customers, taking our base to 1.7 million.  BT Sport’s average annual audience figures increased 12 per cent excluding Showcase and digital channels. We’ve also brought our BT Sport content to millions of additional sports fans through a range of digital channels, streaming the BT Sport Showcase channel on YouTube for both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League finals. Across TV and social media platforms six million people watched each of these finals.”

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