LONDON (AP) — British telecommunications company BT Group says its CEO, Gavin Patterson, will step down this year.

Patterson, who served 14 years at the company, five of those as CEO, will stay at the company until BT has appointed his successor.

Analysts say Patterson's exit is mainly due to the company's poor share price performance. After Friday's announcement, the shares rose by 2.5 percent.

Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Since 2016, BT's share price graph resembles something of a black run; pretty much always on a downward trend and with a few nasty cliffs...Ultimately, this is what's behind the change."

Patterson's leave follows major restructuring at BT.