Vodafone UK today announced it is to cut 500 jobs across all areas of its business as part of its strategy to slash £1 billion in annual operating costs by March 2011.
A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Vodafone UK has announced reductions to its operating costs in order for it to compete more effectively in the UK market.
“As customers look for best value in their mobile services, Vodafone intends to reduce its cost base whilst continuing to invest in new products and services to meet changing customer needs.
“The majority of savings will be achieved by taking operating costs out of the business, however, there will also be a reduction of approximately 500 jobs across the business. Staff affected by the decision have been informed today.”
It said 170 roles will go from its Newbury headquarters.
New roles are being created to develop total communications services and solutions and in addition the retail estate and online services will be the focus for ongoing investment.”
Vodafone said, at the same time, new roles will be created to develop its “total communications services and solutions”.
Its “total communications” strategy will be the focus of its retail and web sales operations going forward.
Trade union Connect urged Vodafone this week to work with it to see the redundancies are handled properly.
Connect national officer for Vodafone Steve Thomas said: “These are clearly difficult times and we do understand the pressures that the telecoms sector is under. It is our intention to work with the company to ensure that basic principles of employment are not abandoned and that our members and all Vodafone employees are treated with respect.”
The news follows redundancies being made in the network’s Irish division, cutting the 1,500-strong workforce by 10 per cent.
In the company’s Q4 results released earlier this month, Vodafone group chief executive Vittorio Colao said its £1 billion cost-cutting strategy, announced late last year, was on track.
Vodafone employs 10,000 people in the UK, and 80,000 globally. The latest cuts come after 450 staff were made redundant in March 2008, although many jobs were then redployed.
Its operating costs are £22 billion per year. It said it wants to cut this figure by £500 million by 2010, and by £1 billion by 2011.