Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs as new boss declares 'need for change'

Chief executive pledges radical transformation of telecoms company's operations

Vodafone job cuts are a sign of the times for telecoms industry. Bloomberg
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Margherita Della Valle, the new chief executive of mobile telecoms company Vodafone, has announced that 11,000 jobs will be cut throughout the company during the next three years.

The large-scale reduction is part of a plan to simplify the business operations and regain competitiveness after a period of underperformance, she said.

The job cuts will affect Vodafone's UK headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, as well as global operations.

“Our performance has not been good enough,” said Ms Della Valle. “To consistently deliver, Vodafone must change.”

This announcement comes after a 1.3 per cent drop in Vodafone's full-year earnings to a lower-than-anticipated €14.7 billion (£12.8 billion).

The company projected minimal growth in earnings for the coming financial year.

Nick Read, who was abruptly dismissed as chief executive last December due to concerns over Vodafone's performance, had introduced plans aimed at achieving cost savings of around €1 billion (£883 million) last year.

While it was acknowledged that job losses could occur as a result, no specific numbers had been disclosed until now.

The lay-offs will be the most significant in Vodafone's history. The company has 100,000 employees worldwide.

The company is expected to experience a significant decline in free cash flow this year, with projections of about €3.3 billion compared to last year's €4.8 billion.

Despite the challenges, Vodafone has seen some areas of growth, particularly in Africa, and a sharp rise in handset sales, resulting in a 0.3 per cent increase in revenue to €45.7 billion.

Vodafone could merge its UK business with Hutchison's Three UK, although the company stated that no certainty of an agreement could be assured at this stage.

The company made no further comment on continuing discussions.

This news comes as the latest in a series of job cuts that Vodafone has made in several major markets, including Italy and Germany.

Updated: May 16, 2023, 8:01 AM