BT’s Livingston quits to become trade minister

Suzie Neuwirth

BT’S chief executive Ian Livingston has resigned to join the government as Minister of State for Trade and Investment, the telecoms company announced today.

Gavin Patterson, who heads up BT’s retail division and sits on the board, will take over as group chief executive in September.

During his five-year tenure heading up the British telecoms firm, Livingston implemented swathes of cost-cutting measures and invested in fibre optics to upgrade BT’s broadband network.

“Ian has done a tremendous job in transforming BT,” said chairman Sir Michael Rake.

“I am honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to take on the role of Minister for Trade and Investment, with a remit of helping the growth of British companies and the country's future economic success,” said Livingston.

“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.”

Livingston will join the House of Lords prior to taking up his government post in December.