The chief executive of BT will step down later this year after five years in the post.
Gavin Patterson has been at BT for 13 years and spent the last decade on its board, which intends to replace him in the second half of 2018.
Chairman Jan du Plessis said “there is a need for a change of leadership”.
BT announced last month that it is to axe 13,000 jobs over the next three years, 12 per cent of its global workforce.
With its share price at a six-year low, the telecoms giant is looking to cut back its management positions and “consolidate in key towns” to reduce costs by £1.5 billion.
“The board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team… the broader reaction to our recent results announcement has though demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy,” said Du Plessis.
“While BT is a very demanding business, with multiple stakeholders, we do have significant opportunities ahead of us.
“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.”
Patterson said it had been “an honour” to lead BT.
“I’ve been immensely proud of what we’ve achieved, in particular the transformation of the business in recent years with the launch of BT Sport, the purchase and integration of EE, and the agreement to create greater independence for Openreach,” he said.
“That, combined with the critical expansion of our superfast broadband network to 27m customers, and our stated ambition to reach 10m homes with ultrafast broadband by the mid-2020s, have fundamentally repositioned the company.
“BT is a great business and with the new management team I’ve recently put in place, is I believe very well positioned to thrive in the future.”