BT to axe 13,000 workers and leave its London HQ

10 May 2018657 Views

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

BT Tower in Central London. Image: Chris Dorney/Shutterstock

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

In a bid to become more agile, UK telecoms giant BT is cutting costs and restructuring.

UK incumbent operator BT said that it plans to cut 13,000 managerial and back-office jobs and become more agile in a move to reduce costs by £1.5bn.

The company said that it will be hiring 6,000 people to “support network deployment and customer service” as part of the restructuring.

‘We continue to invest for growth, having now passed 1.5m premises with our ultrafast network and securing 40MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum suitable for 5G mobile services’
– GAVIN PATTERSON

It is envisaged that one-third of the job cuts will come from outside the UK in BT’s global services division.

The company said there is no indication of how the impact will be felt across BT’s operations in Ireland, north and south.

“There are no details at this stage of either the reduction in roles, or the new jobs, we have announced today,” BT stated.

“We have been clear, however, that the changes will represent an investment in the jobs and skills needed to strengthen our networks and customer service.”

As part of the cost-cutting strategy, BT said that it will be focusing on 30 modern, strategic sites to create a more open and collaborative customer-focused environment. This includes a plan to exit BT’s iconic headquarters in Central London.

“BT is uniquely positioned to be a leader in converged connectivity and services,” said BT CEO Gavin Patterson.

“We are a clear market leader in terms of the scale of our customer relationships. We have the UK’s leading fixed and mobile access networks, a portfolio of strong and well-segmented brands, and close strategic partnerships. We provide products and services that are essential to both consumers and businesses, delivered through multiple channels to suit their needs.

“This position of strength will enable us to build on the disciplined delivery and risk reduction of the last financial year, a period during which we delivered overall in line with our financial and operational commitments whilst addressing many uncertainties.”

BT continues to invest in the 5G future

The news of the cuts came as BT disclosed that pre-tax profits rose 11pc to £2.6bn in the year to March. Revenue was down 1pc for the year to £23.7bn and 3pc for the quarter to £5.9bn.

The company also revealed a 13-year plan to plug its £11.3bn pension fund deficit, including regular payments into the scheme and a bond issue.

“We continue to invest for growth, having now passed 1.5m premises with our ultrafast network and securing 40MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum suitable for 5G mobile services,” Patterson said.

“We are improving our customer experience across the group, with our key metrics of group NPS (net promoter score) and RFT (right first time) both strongly up.

“Our integration and restructuring activities remain on track. The integration of EE into BT is delivering run-rate cost synergies of £290m. Our restructuring programme has removed over 2,800 roles and delivered savings of £180m during the year,” Patterson said.

BT Tower in Central London. Image: Chris Dorney/Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com