Sensis to cut 800 jobs after Telstra sale

Changes "designed to support our growing digital business", says Sensis

Telstra has proposed cutting about 800 jobs at Sensis as it digitises the directory business.

Sensis said today it will commence consultation with employees on the proposed job cuts and other changes to operation.

The job cuts would affect roles nationally across Sensis’ advertising operations, sales, management and support units.

“These changes are designed to support our growing digital business, respond to competition and deliver improvements in the service we provide to our customers,” Sensis managing director John Allan said in a statement.

“As a leader in digital marketing services and print directories serving Australian businesses, Sensis needs to remain responsive to the changing media landscape. While these decisions are difficult, they are necessary to ensure Sensis maintains its competitive position.”

In addition to the job cuts, the Sensis proposal includes the creation of two telephone sales centres in Melbourne and Sydney and a mobile operating model for face-to-face sales teams.

The announcement follows Telstra selling 70 per cent of Sensis to a US private equity firm, Platinum Equity, for $454 million. Telstra had retained a 30 per cent stake in the business.

“These are very difficult decisions and are never taken lightly,” said Allan. “We are working with our people to keep them informed and to provide support for those who may be affected by the proposed changes should they proceed.”

Telstra increased profits by nearly 10 per cent in the first half of the 2013/14 financial year. The telco made a profit of $1.7 billion for the six months to December 31, up from $1.56 billion a year ago.

However, the growth was attributable in large part to the company’s mobile and enterprise divisions.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of a dystopian novel about surveillance. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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