£5m shares windfall for BT boss

Ian LivingstonThe boss of BT is thought to be in line to receive a £5 million windfall after overseeing a turnaround at the telecoms giant.

BT chief executive Ian Livingston is enjoying the benefit of a long-term bonus deal, which gave out tens of millions of shares to top staff at a time when the company reported its first ever loss, reported the Sunday Times.
Mr Livingston reportedly received two million shares, which were deferred for three years with the condition that they would only pay out if all its financial targets were met.

But since then BT's share price has more than trebled after the chief executive cut 30,000 roles and turned around the problematic IT services division.

The bonus scheme is reportedly tied to cashflows and the share price and will pay out in full - delivering huge payouts to Mr Livingston and his executive colleagues.

The 47-year-old Scot will receive 2.13 million shares at last week's closing price of 226p, while head of retail Gavin Paterson and Tony Chanmugam, BT's finance director, should receive windfalls of £2.4 million and £2.2 million a piece.

The payments are likely to fan the flames of the boardroom pay debate, which has continued to rage in 2012 with banking chiefs being at the centre of public outrage.

David Cameron earlier this year vowed to tackle "crony capitalism" with a series of measures designed to control spiralling pay and bonuses among executives.

Business Secretary Vince Cable later unveiled the proposals, which include improved transparency over what people were paid while voting rules would be changed so investors could challenge their boards more vociferously and hold them to account.

Mr Livingston's £5 million award will come on top of his salary and annual bonuses, which in the last year saw him pick up £3.8 million in shares, cash and perks.

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