Outgoing BT boss Gavin Patterson today said he regretted not starting the company’s radical turnaround plan earlier as his turbulent time at the helm came to an end.
The embattled chief executive said the company would be in a better position if it had been quicker to kick off its aggressive cost-cutting plan, which included thousands of job cuts.
“If we’d have started that a few months earlier, maybe a year earlier, we’d have got even further along the path,” he said.
The comments, made on a call with analysts, came as Patterson delivered BT’s results for the last time.
The boss, who announced his departure in June last year, ended his challenging reign with positive third quarter results, as BT beat its revenue and profit expectations.
Patterson said the broadband giant is on track to deliver underlying full-year profit towards the higher end of forecasts, despite a decline in core earnings.
George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the results meant Patterson is leaving on an “upbeat note”.
“BT’s drive to reduce costs is well underway, but there’s more to this positive performance than just cost cutting,” he said.
“The consumer business is again strong, and improvements in BT’s global operations are coming faster than expected.”
But the uptick comes after a tough 18 months for the chief executive, who has seen BT’s share price drop amid conflicts with Ofcom and an accounting scandal in Italy.
Patterson is making way for former Worldpay chief executive Philip Jansen, who will take the reins tomorrow after a month’s handover period working alongside the outgoing boss.