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BT boss adds 1.2m bonus to £860,000 salary

The chief executive of BT received a bonus of £1.2 million last year on top of a salary of £860,000, the telecoms giant reported today.

Ian Livingston hit 142 out of a maximum 200 targets set by the company, giving him a £1.2 million bonus out of a possible £1.7 million.

Mr Livingston was given a £50,000 pay rise last year, which would have taken his salary to £900,000, but he did not accept it at a time when BT froze the pay of staff, so it was postponed to this year.

Mr Livingston has accepted 2% of the pay rise and donated the rest to charity, it was revealed today.

Mr Livingston is accepting a 2% rise on his £850,000 salary rather than 2% of the extra £50,000, which means he is taking around £17,000 and donating approxiately £34,000 to charity.

Three other directors received bonuses totalling more than £1.5 million, including Hanif Lalani (£503,000), who left BT in January.

The figures were released ahead of a debate at the annual conference of the Communication Workers Union on whether to launch an industrial action ballot among BT workers over pay.

Gavin Patterson, who was appointed chief executive of BT Retail in June 2008, received a bonus of £487,000, and Tony Chanmugam, who was appointed group finance director of BT Group in December of the same year, received £463,000.

Mr Lalani was a former finance director who ran BT Global Services for 15 months in order to sort out problems caused by its previous boss.

BT said almost 30,000 staff will get bonuses because of the "significant progress" made by the company and because of its link between pay and performance.

The firm said its executive pay levels were set below the median for comparable positions at other companies so that they had their remuneration closely tied to performance.

Mr Lalani was entitled to a year's pay after leaving, according to the terms of his contract.

Former Labour minister Patricia Hewitt, who is a BT director, was paid £128,000 in the last financial year.