Former BT CEO Gavin Patterson becomes Elixirr Chair

15 November 2019 3 min. read
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Following his exit as the Chief Executive Officer of BT in January 2019, Gavin Patterson has taken up a variety of new roles. The latest of these sees him become the new Chair of fast-growing consultancy Elixirr.

Founded a decade ago by Graham Busby, Andy Curtis, Mark Goodyear, Ian Ferguson, and Managing Partner Stephen Newton, Elixirr has since experienced strong growth. The consultancy has regularly featured in lists charting the fastest expanding companies in Europe, and in 2018 was cited as one of the quickest growing in the US as well. Last year, this saw Elixirr enjoy a growth in revenue of 33%, with the group expecting to deliver another record year in FY 19-20.

In a bid to keep its impressive growth track going into its second decade in business, Elixirr has committed itself to something of an appointment-spree in its Partner team throughout 2019. Now, the firm has further strengthened its leadership with appointment of BT CEO Gavin Patterson as Chairman.

Commenting on his new role, Patterson said, "I'm delighted to join Elixirr as Chairman. The firm's growth is admirable, and they have built a strong, authentic brand and a very talented team – an impressive achievement for such a young firm... I’ve worked with many consulting firms over my career and their approach is unique. No other firm is doing anything in this space quite like Elixirr and I’m looking forward to being a part of their next exciting growth chapter."

Patterson has spent the best part of two decades as a business leader in a variety of sectors. He commenced his career with FMCG firm Proctor & Gamble in 1993, before spending four year with Telewest Communications (now Virgin Media). He then joined BT in 2004, initially as Group Managing Director in the telecom giant’s Consumer wing. By 2013, he had risen to the rank of Chief Executive Officer, a role he would hold alongside the Presidency of the Advertising Association between 2011 and 2014.

During his reign at the top of BT, Patterson was no stranger to adopting a ‘challenger’ mind-set, and oversaw the group’s disruption of the football broadcast space, as it secured exclusive rights for the showcasing of the UEFA Champions League in 2013. BT has since retained the rights, seeing off competition from Sky in 2017 by securing a deal worth £1.18 billion – nearly £300 million more than it paid for the rights four years earlier.

The expansion of BT Sport came at the cost of the rest of the company, however, and Patterson has subsequently faced criticism for the company's under-investment in broadband and customer service. He exited the company in January, with BT in the process of a major restructuring project, seeing the closure of nearly 90% of its UK offices and the loss of some 13,000 jobs from its 100,000 workforce, in a bid to save £1.5 billion over three years.

Patterson now joins Elixirr’s board of existing senior advisors, who will continue to drive the firm as it seeks to execute its future growth plans. Alongside this role, Patterson is also a Senior Advisor with McKinsey & Company, an Advisor to business strategy firm Solon Management Consulting, and part-time Chair of Salesforce for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will also maintain Non-Executive Directorships with British Airways and Fractal Analytics, as well as being a Trustee to the British Museum.

Stephen Newton, Founder & Managing Partner, Elixirr said of Patterson, “Helping large corporates across different industries keep up with what their customers now expect through innovation and agile transformation is what we do with our clients around the world, and Gavin’s expertise in this area strengthens our team even further, having led some of the biggest businesses in the world through exactly this type of journey.”