Thousands of Telstra employees are facing job losses, as the company announced it will be cutting almost a quarter of its workforce in a massive company overhaul, with an aim to “eliminate customer pain points”.
The telco giant said it will cut 8,000 employees and contractors — including one-in-four executive and middle management roles, who will leave over the next three years.
The job losses come as thousands of Telstra customers lost service with the provider for 18 hours on Thursday.
Telstra said it’s targeting a further $1 billion in cost cutting by the 2022 financial year, taking total cost reductions to $2.5 billion.
Telstra’s CEO Andy Penn said Telstra had to take drastic action to stay on top in an increasingly competitive telecommunications market. He said the new strategy dubbed ‘Telstra 20220’ would benefit everyone from customers to shareholders and employees.
“We are now at a tipping point where we must act more boldly if we are to continue to be the nation’s leading telecommunications company,” he said in a statement.
“We are creating a new Telstra that is able to continue to lead the market. In the future our workforce will be a smaller, knowledge-based one with a structure and way of working that is agile enough to deal with rapid change,” Penn said. “This means that some roles will no longer be required, some will change and there will also be new ones created.
Speaking to Sunrise this morning, Penn said staff had been briefed about the sweeping changes.
“We are setting up funds and support for the people impacted, and we will obviously communicate more about that over the next three years when we role out the changes.”
Despite the massive cost cutting, Telstra’s new strategy outlines a goal to remain the premium telco brand and the lead in the roll-out of 5G mobile networks. The new announcement comes as Telstra has been hit with numerous glitches over the past few months. Earlier this week, customers on the 3G and 4G networks reported outages and vented their frustrations online.
Last month, an outage was so bad that Telstra customers were unable to make triple-zero calls, meaning anyone trying to call the police, ambulance and fire services weren’t able to connect.
That glitch came just days after the company was forced to apologise after another outage meant thousands of people across the country weren’t able to make or receive calls.