BT faced down a shareholder revolt at the company’s annual meeting in Edinburgh today over its executive pay plan.
More than a third (34.2 per cent) of investors voted against the telecoms giant’s remuneration report.
BT’s annual report in May showed that Patterson was paid £2.3m last year, including a £1.3m performance bonus, just weeks after announcing a major cost cutting plan which involved 13,000 jobs being axed and a move out of its London headquarters.
The result will mean BT will be placed on a public register of firms which have had more than 20 per cent of shareholders vote against executive pay.
Read more: BT chief executive Gavin Patterson will step down this year
Shareholder dissatisfaction with Patterson’s performance led to BT starting the search for a new chief exec last month.
In a statement, BT said it was “naturally disappointed” by the lower level of support for its remuneration plan.
“Historically both the remuneration report and our remuneration policy have received overwhelming shareholder support and over the past two weeks we have been in dialogue with our major shareholders and proxy advisers to discuss their questions and concerns,” it said.
“During the remainder of 2018 we will engage further with our shareholders and proxy advisers to understand in full detail the reasons for their concerns and whether we should consider any changes to our longer term approach to remuneration.”
Influential City shareholder groups had recommended investors vote against the report. Pirc argued the report did not reflect recent share performance or Patterson’s cost cutting measures.
Institutional Shareholder Services added they had concerns about Patterson’s bonus, which could pay out 130 per cent of his basic salary.
Read more: Pirc tells shareholders to oppose re-election of BT boss Gavin Patterson