Optus slashes more jobs in new restructure

Telco looks for more growth from enterprise ICT

Optus this morning confirmed job losses as a result of restructuring of its consumer, business and corporate support divisions. Over the next two days approximately 350 staff will be notified that their positions are being made redundant.

Those affected by the redundancies will finish up on 16 May, according to an email sent to Optus staff sighted by Computerworld Australia.

"These changes will result in the consolidation and centralisation of some roles and functions, some positions becoming redundant, the reorganisation of some teams and the creation of new teams and roles," the email states.

"The strategy set for this financial year does not change following this announcement," the email says.

"We continue to say yes to simple products, brilliant service and a great network – but we must also now focus on driving renewed growth in our business."

Read more: 200 more Optus jobs to go: Report

A statement issued by the telco said the restructure would affect a number of corporate functions and customer support processes.

"In Optus Business, we are making changes to refocus the structure towards ICT and Applications growth, the way we develop and manage products and how we support our enterprise customers," the statement adds.

Optus Business revenue increased 2.4 per cent to $378 million in the December quarter. The biggest increase was in ICT and managed services, with revenue jumping 26 per cent to $126 million.

"Structural changes are needed for the telco sector to move forward in a more sustainable way," telecommunications industry analyst Paul Budde said.

"We see both Telstra and Optus working hard on this but in comparison to other sectors they are still lagging behind so expect more cuts moving forwards."

Budde pointed to an April report issued by the Productivity Commission which said that the information, media and telecommunications sector suffered the greatest negative multifactor productivity (MFP) growth in 2012-13.

"The Information, media and telecommunications industry recorded a sizable decline in MFP (-3.8 per cent) in 2011-12 and an even greater decline (-7.2 per cent) in 2012-13, making a significant negative contribution to market sector MFP growth (table 1.2 and figure 1.2). If this trend continues, then further research into the industry will be warranted," the report stated.

Optus has undergone a number of rounds of redundancies since a transformation process began in 2012. Nearly 1000 staff were made redundant in 2012, with hundreds more losing their jobs last year.

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