Vodafone Germany to shed 1,300 jobs

Vodafone Germany HQ

It is beginning to look like telecoms is falling into line with the tech sector when it comes to the axe-wielding.

Vodafone Germany this week became the latest operator to announce redundancies, 1,300 to be precise. In a statement on Wednesday, the company said it is “realigning” in an effort to “become a more trusted partner for customers” and to return to growth with more appealing offers.

“At the same time, Vodafone is preparing to face the increased cost pressure worldwide, especially in the energy and components sector,” it added.

Vodafone said the savings will enable it to plough more money into technology, its network expansion and “major customer projects in the future.”

All this will come as little comfort for the soon-to-be ex-employees. Vodafone said the cuts will be made in management, double functions (the statement was in German, so hopefully ‘double functions’ roughly translates to ‘overlap’ rather than some poor soul who is already doing two jobs) and in areas without direct customer contact.

At the same time, Vodafone Germany plans to fill 400 new customer-facing roles, which means the net loss of headcount is actually 900. Again, crumbs of comfort are few and far between for anyone who doesn’t score a transfer to one of these new positions.

The redundancies are not wholly unexpected. Germany stood out as being a particularly big cause for concern in Vodafone’s most recent financial report. The telco’s biggest single market saw fiscal third quarter service revenue fall 1.8 percent year-on-year due to customer losses.

Germany could just be the tip of the iceberg for the broader Vodafone Group though, which aims to cut costs by €1 billion by fiscal 2026. The FT reported in January that in line with this plan, Vodafone is looking to shed hundreds of jobs at its London HQ.

Redundancies are not just a Vodafone problem either – BT is also feeling the pinch. Job cuts are seen as an inevitable part of the UK incumbent’s plan to save £3 billion by the end of fiscal year 2025. Altnet CityFibre is also reportedly reducing its headcount to the tune of 400 as it grapples with inflation.

Elsewhere, Sky Italia earlier this month announced it will cull an additional 800 staff on top of the 400 that are already heading out the door. It laid the blame on “changes in the macroeconomic scenario.” Also in Italy, incumbent TIM recently reached a deal with unions that will see 2,000 staff take voluntary early retirement. Like Vodafone, TIM wants to cut costs by €1 billion.

Meanwhile, in France, Le Monde reported (in French) that Orange Business plans to shed 700 employees in an effort to turn around the loss-making division.

Until now, job losses in big tech have been the most eye-catching if only for the sheer scale of them. But it is becoming increasingly harder to ignore the steady rise in similar announcements from the telecoms industry.


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