Ziggy fires bolt at senior management

The 220 Telstra executives who will find themselves out of work between now and December have no one to blame but themselves, according to a company spokesperson.

Veiled threats contained in a memo sent yesterday to Telstra's upper management by CEO Ziggy Switkowski were a reiteration of goals outlined almost a year ago, at the start of the Telco's $650 million cost-cutting blitz.

The goals laid out in September 1999, when the blitz was conceived, were based on suggestions from "hundreds" of Telstra executive staff, the spokesperson told IDG. Switkowski's announcement in March that around 16,000 Telstra staff overall would be retrenched in coming years was part of the same blitz.

Under the blitz, 220 executive and management staff would be retrenched by the end of December, the spokesperson said.

Switkowski's memo, timed to coincide with the start of the financial year, warned managers that "cost reduction efforts must achieve budget forecasts in every work centre".

"The time has now come for outcomes and deliverables."

The spokesperson said that retained employees would benefit from the streamlining effects of the staff cuts, as would Telstra's customers.

They said call centre staff felt frustrated having to "go through 20 people" in order to access information in a timely manner.

"It's not good for staff if they feel they can't answer things," the spokesperson said.

"We're doing more with less . . . but we are still not quite there," Switkowski's memo said.

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