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Vodafone slashes 11,000 jobs, eyes IT transformation

Vodafone will lay off 11,000 employees over the next three years amid a restructuring that will also see it ramp up its focus on the B2B market – as executives lamented “structural complexity” and “insufficient customer focus.”

In an earnings call earlier today, May 16, Vodafone Group CEO Margherita Della Valle said that the telecom giant's performance had not been "good enough", and that she was announcing a road map to prioritize "customers, simplicity and growth" – after reporting annual revenues of €45.7 billion driven by growth in Africa.

An annual report emphasised that “we invest more and earn less than other sectors… and shareholder returns reflect it” – as Della Valle promised leaner corporate services and more joined up operations across networks, IT, back-office and procurement, with a presentation accompanying a call suggesting increased IT outsourcing.

Executives today also promised to publish Vodafone's "first standalone cyber security factsheet" in the near future (during the company's last annual report, it revealed that a supplier security incident had had "potential scope to impact the entire telecommunications industry” following a breach at the company Syniverse.)

As part of its roadmap, Vodafone has also established a new board committee focused on technology. (In the last two years, Vodafone has spent over €10 billion in strengthening its tech infrastructure, it earlier said.)

However, as part of its simplicity roadmap, the company is reallocating major funds towards customer experience. Vodafone has had a dismal recent record when it comes to customer relations, with Ofcom reporting it as the second most complained about broadband service provided in the UK. The company has also lost over 1.3 million wireless service subscribers in India, where it has been rapidly losing market share in the past two years.

A funding shift towards “customer experience” will “reinvigorate" Vodafone’s brand image, the company said. When it comes to the European market, where it has remained profitable in all countries except Spain, the focus is on building B2B relations, where it sees an opportunity to improve “B2B digital services penetration.”

See also: Nokia earnings highlight private wireless network growth