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BT Bonus Brouhaha

Ray Le Maistre
5/28/2009

9:30 AM -- News that certain existing and former BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) executives are to receive bonuses, while the carrier's staff suffers pay freezes, could hardly have come at a worse time for the carrier's reputation. (See BT Freezes Pay.)

Details of the bonuses for a select few, plus a large payout to a former executive who was ousted last year, follow the recent disappointment of BT's annual results (crippled by the problems at BT Global Services) and job cuts at the carrier. The operator is also grappling with pension fund deficits. (See BT Cuts Jobs, Capex , BT Reports Q4, and BT's Numbers Hit by Rogue Unit.)

In addition, the news also comes amidst the expenses scandal enveloping the U.K.'s Members of Parliament. That particular scandal, plus the general impact of the recession and nationwide job losses, is making the British public increasingly cynical and angry about the perks and payments that find their way into the bank balances of politicians and business high-flyers.

BT's annual report identifies the current CEO Ian Livingston, the head of BT Retail Gavin Patterson, finance director Tony Chanmugam, and former CEO Ben Verwaayen, now CEO at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), as the recipients of bonuses for the most recent full financial year. In addition, the report details a very healthy exit payment to the former head of BT Global Services, François Barrault, who lost his job last year as problems at the international division were uncovered. (See BT's Barrault Bolts and Verwaayen Takes the Helm at AlcaLu.)

Check out this Guardian report for more details.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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