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Job Losses

Vodafone cutting 11,000 jobs as new CEO says group ‘must change’

Newly appointed CEO Margherita Della Valle said that the company’s performance “has not been good enough”.

BRITISH MOBILE PHONE giant Vodafone said it plans to axe 11,000 jobs over the next three years as new chief executive Margherita Della Valle seeks a “simpler” organisation.

The recently appointed chief executive of the Vodafone’s group, said the cull comes as part of a plan to simplify the business.

It will impact the group’s UK headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, as well as markets worldwide.

Vodafone employs over 1,000 employees in Ireland and is in the country’s top 250 employers, ranking 100th in top companies by turnover. 

The Journal asked Vodafone Ireland if there are any indications that the job losses will include losses in the Irish workforce. In response, a spokesperson said they had nothing further to add beyond the statement from the company’s CEO.

Della Valle said that the company’s performance “has not been good enough”, alongside news of flat annual revenue at the group.

Vodafone will axe more than 10% of its global workforce, which stood at 104,000 staff last year.

“To consistently deliver, Vodafone must change,” Della Valle added.

Della Valle, appointed CEO on a permanent basis at the start of May after five months as interim boss, said the company must “simplify” and cut out complexity to regain competitiveness.

Vodafone’s announcement follows the axing this year of tens of thousands of jobs across the global tech sector, including by Facebook parent Meta, as soaring inflation weakened the economy.

Della Valle’s predecessor Nick Read stepped down in early December after a four-year tenure marked by a steep fall in the company’s share price.

He left with Vodafone in talks over merging its UK operations with rival Three UK, owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison.

Media reports say a deal worth £15 billion (€17.2 billion) is close to completion.

Vodafone on Tuesday added that group revenue stood at €45.7 billion in its financial year to the end of March, almost flat compared with 2021/22.

It added that net profit surged to €11.8 billion from €2.2 billion, reflecting its part-disposal of European mast division, Vantage Towers.

“We will be a leaner and simpler organisation, to increase our commercial agility and free up resources,” the company said this morning.

It announced “11,000 role reductions planned over three years, with both HQ and local markets simplification.”

Vodafone, which has more than 300 million mobile customers in Europe and Africa, is heavily focused on accelerating rollout of 5G in the UK.

It is banking on the merger of its UK operations with Three to expand broadband connectivity to rural communities and small businesses.

The rollout of faster 5G connectivity has been hampered by Britain’s ban on the Chinese giant Huawei from involvement in the technology.

Following today’s announcements, shares in Vodafone dropped 2.9% to 87.42 pence at the start of trading on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was slightly higher overall.

The stock price has fallen by nearly 4.3% to 86.17 pence as of the time of publish.

At the end of 2022, Vodafone unveiled a blockbuster deal with investment firms GIP and KKR to form a joint venture that would maintain its majority stake in Vantage Towers.

© AFP 2023

With additional reporting from Press Association and Muiris O’Cearbhaill

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