More staff to go from 20:20 Mobile


20:20 Mobile will this week invite staff to take voluntary redundancy as it looks to streamline the business further and eliminate overlap as a result of its handset, accessories and logistics units merging.

The move follows last week’s high profile departures of long-serving marketing director Graham Ellerton, Dextra product and marketing director Neil Henderson and Dextra sales director Richard Parry, who have all left the business.

Ellerton’s position is not clear, but Henderson and Parry have taken redundancy.

20:20 Mobile UK managing director James Browning (pictured) said: "The next step is to invite voluntary redundancies. We’re going to ask that across the board, that now is the time for people to request voluntary redundancy.

"We want to be as flexible and pragmatic as possible, rather than just reduce the headcount by function areas. It is a preliminary process, and it doesn’t necessarily mean all requests will be accepted. And we don’t imagine there will be many anyway.

"We will come to a total redundancy figure as a result of that process. We are looking to lower our operating cost base and to organize ourselves as a more streamlined operation."

Redundancies are expected by the end of the month.

Browning said of the departures so far: "There is no conclusion on Graham Ellerton’s position, and it would be inappropriate for me to comment. The departure of Richard and Neil is no reflection upon them and is a result of this ongoing process."

Trade sources suggested last week Ellerton is preparing legal action over his redundancy settlement. Ellerton was unavailable for comment.

Browning said 20:20’s ongoing restructure, which has seen its 20:20 Logistics handset business, Dextra accessories/prepay unit and Caudwell Logistics combined into a single trading entity, has been greeted with excitement and uncertainty by staff.

He added it was not a deliberate move away from the old school management regime from founder John Caudwell’s days.

"There is a mixture of feelings; a degree of excitement and anticipation of the change coming.

"People on one hand are pleased action is being taken, and are enthused with the senior appointments. But they are anxious as well, which is human nature.

"This sector is evolving and maturing and we have to make our business model appropriate, and our value added proposition appropriate. It is not a case of getting rid of the old guard; it is about retaining the right mix of experience so our proposition is right up to the minute."