Vodafone NZ to cut jobs in 'strategy acceleration'

A "limited" number will be hired back, Vodafone says. Photo credit: Getty

Vodafone NZ is reportedly set to cut 200 people from its workforce, but hire a "limited" number of them back. 

In a statement, the telco said the job losses were part of a "strategy acceleration" involving more investment in "improved sales and customer experience", as well as more experts, mobile 5G coverage and "closing the digital divide" through its charitable arm.

"This strategy acceleration means new roles will be created (or have already been created), roles will be moved, and, unfortunately, roles are proposed to be disestablished," head of external affairs Rich Llewellyn said.

"We anticipate bringing in around 150 new roles over the next six to 12 months, focusing on our priorities of improving customer experience and accelerating our digital transformation, and we expect around 200 current roles will leave Vodafone over the next few months (with some limited opportunities for redeployment).

"Newly created roles will be all about delivering better customer experiences, better digital platforms and products, better value in market, and better network performance. Roles that are proposed to be disestablished are largely in back-office or management roles, or in areas where there is going to be some duplication of function."

Staff were due to be told at a meeting called by chief executive Jason Paris on Thursday, the New Zealand Herald said, citing an email leaked by staff. 

Vodafone said the moves are in response to "huge technology changes, new competitor offers and increasing customer demands every day" that have been sped up by "changing customer behaviours" as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Change is not new to our business - the Vodafone of today is very different to the Vodafone of five years ago - but we know changes can be hard," said Llewellyn.

"These changes will unfortunately impact some of our people, their families and their friends, so we will move as quickly as we can to give our people clarity, and enable our teams to keep delivering amazing digital services and connectivity for our customers."

Vodafone currently has around 2000 staff in New Zealand, down from a reported 2700 two years ago.