Outgoing BT boss takes home £3.7m as cost cutting continues


Ex-CEO Philip Jansen, who left BT in January, saw his remuneration increase 25.8% in the last financial year, including bonuses of £2.6 million

This week, BT has revealed that the company’s outgoing CEO, Philip Jansen, was paid £3.72 million for the financial year ending March 31.

This total comprises a fixed pay of £1.11 million and a bonus of £2.6 million, (up from £1.62 million last year). The bonus took the form of £1.45 million in cash and £1.15 million in shares.

The pay increase comes despite BT recording a 31% drop in pre-tax profits to £1.18 billion for the year to March.

Jansen was replaced as CEO by Telia’s Allison Kirkby in January this year, having held the role for five years. Despite some claims that Jansen had “got the strategy right” at the helm of the UK’s largest telco during this time, his tenure saw the company’s share price fall by around 45%.

Perhaps most notably, Jansen’s time as CEO saw the company begin implementing major cost cutting measures, seeking to reduce expenses by £3 billion by 2025. To reach this target, the company announced plans to cut around 55,000 jobs across the company – roughly 40% of BT’s workforce – by 2030.

While the scale of Jansen’s final pay packet is sure to leave a sour taste in the mouth of laid off BT employees and the Communication Workers Union, it is far from unusual. A quick look in the news, for example, shows that CEOs of major firms are routinely paid handsomely as they wave a final farewell. This week alone has seen Boeing’s outgoing CEO Dave Calhoun awarded a 45% pay rise to $32.8 million, despite the company’s ongoing crisis over quality control (don’t worry – he turned down his $2.8 million annual bonus).

For BT’s remaining staff, further cost cutting measures are to be expected. Earlier this year, newly inaugurated CEO Allison Kirkby revealed that BT had already succeeded in reducing costs by the aforementioned £3 billion, a year ahead of its 2025 schedule. Now, says Kirkby, the company will aim to cut a further £3 billion by 2029.

But while Kirkby says the company is “well positioned to generate significant growth”, investors remain far less convinced. Last month, it was revealed that investors were short-selling around £300 million-worth of BT shares, i.e., betting on a further decline in the company’s share price.

Kirkby remained unperturbed, saying “I always love to squeeze the shorts . . . and prove them wrong.”

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