Sacked BT boss claims firms should shun Britain for a US listing after he relocates to Silicon Valley
The former boss of BT has claimed fast-growing firms are ‘better off’ listing in the US than the UK and that Silicon Valley helped him to get his mojo back.
Gavin Patterson, who was ousted from the British telecoms giant in 2018, is now president and chief revenue officer at software giant Salesforce.
He said his experience at the US firm had given him a ‘hunger for life’ again and credited a ‘try and fail’ culture for helping to create some of the world’s biggest technology titans.
Stateside: Gavin Patterson has his mojo back after becoming president and chief revenue officer at software giant Salesforce
Former Oracle executive Marc Benioff founded Salesforce with investment from Larry Ellison, his former boss at Oracle.
Patterson, 53, speaking to the news website Tortoise, said: ‘This concept of investing in people who have left you – when have you ever heard of that?
‘People are expected to try things and fail and it is not held against them. There is desire to continue experimenting and really make your name.’
He added: ‘If you are in a growth business, you are probably better off listing in the US than you are in the UK.
‘There are more comparable companies, the investment community is a little bit more geared up to understanding the levers of growth and there is better access to capital and talent. There are not many what I would call ‘true growth’ companies listed in the UK.’
Patterson was ousted by BT chairman Jan du Plessis after shareholders lost faith in his ability to turn it around.
He said his time at the £13billion British firm had been affected by ‘legacy systems’, pension fund troubles and slow decision-making.
By contrast, he said Salesforce ‘still feels and operates like a small business’ despite being worth £156billion, and that only about ten top bosses made decisions quickly.
The father-of-four said BT had been ‘interesting and challenging… and probably an element of impossible’ and said he assumed his executive days were over after leaving.
But he added: ‘A change is as good as a rest. I am in a very different market, a very different company, a very different culture and it has rejuvenated me in many ways.
‘That hunger for work – that hunger for life – has come back and that is why I am doing it.’