Telstra to axe jobs in major shake-up

Significant job losses are expected at Telstra after the telco announced sweeping changes to its operational structure.

Significant job losses are expected at Telstra after the telco announced sweeping changes to its operational structure.

About half of Telstra's domestic workforce of 30,000 is affected by the changes - which were announced to staff via the company's intranet - being rolled out by July 1.

As the company shifts from its legacy copper network and phone directories businesses, it will concentrate on high-growth areas such as wireless networks, the national broadband network and cloud computing, while cutting back on loss-making areas such as the Sensis directory business.

Chief operations officer Brendon Riley described the move as the "most substantive changes for 10 years". He said Telstra would continue to drive improvements in core businesses and increase investment in growth businesses such as network application services, cloud and media assets.

"Our traditional businesses are coming under increasing margin pressure and the largest portion of our budget is spent supporting them. This is not a sustainable business model and we have an obligation to redefine our contributions to Telstra," Mr Riley told staff on Wednesday.

One of legacy businesses, the YellowPages directory, was once a cash cow but has been under pressure as people turn to internet search engines. Telstra slashed 648 jobs from Sensis in February.

The so-called rivers of gold that once flowed from Telstra's monopoly hold over the copper wire network are expected to ease as the introduction of the national broadband network gathers pace.

The overhaul is expected to produce a cut in Telstra's headcount at home as it expands overseas, in Asia in particular. The company refused to comment specifically on the number of jobs to be lost.

"I anticipate that we will be creating efficiencies which will mean we have jobs that will go in certain areas but on the other hand there is investment in jobs creation that we need to do," Mr Riley said. But he admitted the job number was likely to be down overall.

Telstra has cut about 2500 roles over the past year. At the end of December the telco had a total workforce of 38,663.

It will reorganise its operations into five groups, Mr Riley said, and three of them - IT solutions, networks, and customer service delivery - will be new.

Two existing operational units, covering the telco's work with and for the national broadband network and Telstra's new growth engine - network applications and services, which manages data for business customers - will be retained.

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