Exclusive: O2 senior managers to be axed as part of five per cent headcount cut

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Despite declining numbers, Evans believes that high street retail still has a major part to play

The cut was announced by UK CEO Mark Evans at the end of last year

O2 will make several of its senior management redundant in a restructure which will reduce its workforce by five per cent at the end of March.

Mobile News understands those leaving the operator are head of business retention and customer experience Maggie Kennedy, head of M2M authorised distributor channel Bernie McPhillips, head of customer experience and engagement Mia Nicoll, head of retention Rachel Burrows and M2M global partner manager Shaun Clark. O2 will lose over 54 combined years of managerial experience as part of these cuts.

Anonymous sources claimed the redundancies are to make O2’s business appear more valuable as it prepares to float itself on the London Stock Exchange for £10 billion. The sources told Mobile News the decision to cut staff was “disappointing” considering the years of experience the network would lose. They said: “It’s like a relationship coming to an end and the business feels a lot different to what it used to be.

“It’s uncertain what will happen.I’m disappointed.These people have been at the business for so many years and the cuts essentially change the DNA of what the company is.”

Small reduction

The decision will affect 160 UK employees, with O2 UK’s total staff base standing at approximately 6,250. CEO Mark Evans made the announcement to staff at Christmas and confirmed it would affect those in non-customer facing roles, service management, business operations, sales, operations network and various PA positions. Individual consultations are taking place to notify those at risk of whether they will be made redundant or be transferred to a new role.

Speaking exclusively to Mobile News in one of his first in-depth interviews since taking over, Evans claimed the decision was to create more ‘options for investment’.

Customer interests

“The UK market is hugely competitive and it is incumbent on every organisation to continuously look at how it is structured to make it as efficient as possible. If we can achieve that, then we ultimately create more capacity and more options to invest in the customer proposition,” he said. “We have always been customer-led, so we want to make sure that we can compete in the interest of customers. We are making a small reduction in the overall workforce but it is founded on a very simple principle, which is we’re trying to make sure decisions are made as quickly as possible as we operate in a highly-competitive market and we need to be able to react quickly.”

O2 declined to confirm the names of the five senior managers that are set to leave the company before the end of next month.

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