BT Group has increased the cap on the maximum bonus payments available to its chief executive by more than 50% in a bid to keep the telco’s head at the company for at least another three years. Ben Verwaayen’s bonus ceiling has been lifted from 195% to 300% of his base salary, meaning he could now earn up to GBP2.1 million (USD3.8 million) this year. A portion of the bonus will be paid in deferred shares, however, and if he leaves within three years he also loses his rights to the shares. Verwaayen’s bonuses have fallen significantly since UK companies began receiving criticism in 2002/03 for generously rewarding their executives at a time when sweeping staff cuts were widespread. BT said the move was made in an effort to ensure continuity at the company in the light of the recent decision by its chairman, Sir Christopher Bland, to step down in 2007.