BT chief executive Gavin Patterson to step down later this year

Patterson has served as chief executive for five years

BT Group's Chief Executive Gavin Patterson will step down this year after its chairman said a new leader was needed to restructure Britain's biggest broadband and mobile provider.

Jan du Plessis, Chairman of BT said: "Gavin has been with BT for just over 14 years and I want to thank him for his contribution to our business during that time, in particular during the nearly five years that he has served as Chief Executive".

During his time at the helm, Patterson has overseen a number of changes in the business, not least its entrance into the TV market.

Patterson has served BT for 14 years, 10 years as a board member and five as CEO.

BT's Italian arm was guilty of improper accounting practices and "inappropriate behaviour" a year ago, resulting in the company taking a £225m hit after paying Deutsche Telekom and Orange to avoid legal action over the issue.

George Salmon, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said:"Perhaps fittingly, Gavin Patterson's tenure was very much a game of two halves".

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BT shares, which have lost almost 40 percent of their value since Patterson took over, rose more than 2 percent in early trading, before giving up some of the gains by 1030 GMT.

Despite the long-evident pressure on the former telecom monopoly boss, the timing of Friday's announcement left some investors puzzled, coming barely a month after a strategy update that included the board's support for Patterson. He was appointed chief executive of the BT Group in 2013.

The bad news continued when Ofcom fined BT a record 42 million pounds for service failures.

"I am confident that, for the remainder of his term, Gavin and his senior management team will continue to display the energy required to deal with every dimension of the task at hand", he said.

That strategy update was released alongside full-year results which showed a 1% drop in revenue to £23.7 billion, through reported pre-tax profits rose 11% to £2.6 billion. The first and most important is the share price.

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