Vodafone restructures, to retrench 500 jobs

Appoints turnaround expert and CTO as it focuses on an intensified network and better customer experience

Vodafone Australia has announced a restructuring of its operations and several new members in its senior leadership team in an attempt to turn around its business.

ARN understands the restructuring will result in the loss of about 500 jobs; Vodafone currently has about 5,000 staff including contractors.

Announcing a series of initiatives, Vodafone Australia CEO, Bill Morrow, said the company will refocus on an intensified network and a “specialised management team” to drive improved customer experience.

The company has also announced several new members in the senior leadership team including a new chief technology officer, Cliff Woo, who has over 30 years experience in the industry; turnaround expert Brad Whitcomb has been named director, strategy, transformation and business development, responsible for Vodafone’s long-term strategic direction, developing new business opportunities. It has also has named Kim Clarke director, consumer business unit, responsible for helping the company strengthen the Vodafone brand.

“We’ve been reviewing the business in detail and we are excited about the opportunities yet realistic about the challenges. We have the backing of our shareholders to support the needed investment, we have the commitment of management to support an unwavering commitment to our customers, and we are prepared to think and act differently in everything we do,” Morrow said in a statement.

Vodafone will undertake a “significant reduction in workforce,” “optimisation of Vodafone's customer touch points” and a comprehensive review of the company's customer support processes, Morrow said.

“Vodafone will be a leaner, more effective business that is completely focused on what our customers want now and for the long term. We’ll give them the network and services they need and deserve.

“It is vital that we simplify the business to be efficient and to enable growth in the long term. We need to prioritise every dollar and internal action to count toward an improved customer experience and these changes are designed to deliver just this. We continue to face challenges, but I’m excited about the future. We're committed to building an agile business that can finally give Australians the service they’ve been demanding from this industry for years."

Vodafone has several initiatives underway to boost customer experience. It is close to concluding the first phase of a new network rollout and readying for the next stage, the company said in the statement.

These include an increased network transmission speed and capacity with an internet ready IP architecture; faster radio technology with 3G (DC-HSPA+) protocols; and replacement of nearly all radio equipment with the latest technology on the market, the company said in a statement.

Vodafone is also planning rapid expansion of next-generation LTE infrastructure across select major metro areas in 2013, having completed the first test calls on its new 4G LTE network.

It said it is also on track to complete the remaining upgrades of its network infrastructure, which will provide much greater consistency in delivering high-speed data services on smartphones and tablets.

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