BT CEO resigns for government position

20 June 2013 |

Ian Livingston, CEO at BT, has announced his resignation from the company, in favour of a UK government role as minister of state for trade and investment.

Livingston, who has held his position since 2008, pioneered BT’s focus on superfast broadband, investing over £2.5 billion in a nationwide roll-out intended to cover two thirds of the UK population by the end of spring next year.

He will continue his role as CEO until September, when he will also step down from BT’s board, and is expected to take up his role in government in December.

“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,” Livingston said.

He will be succeeded by Gavin Patterson, BT’s existing head of retail, but there has been concern from analysts over his competence for the role.

“The question mark that everyone's going to have is, has he got that widespread set of skills that Ian had around finance, around dealing with the regulators, and that I think is going to be something that the market will worry about," Lawrence Sugarman, analyst at Liberum, told reporters.

As a result of Livingston’s resignation, the company’s stock value fell by 3.9% yesterday.