New Vodafone boss takes aim at costs with 11,000 global job cuts

New Vodafone boss takes aim at costs with 11,000 global job cuts

New Vodafone boss Margherita Della Valle said she would cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years to help the telecom group regain its competitive edge after it warned a poor performance in its biggest market Germany would hit cash flow.

Shares in Vodafone, which has underperformed rivals in its major European markets, fell to their lowest level since 2002, and were trading down 9% by midafternoon.

The job cuts are the biggest in the history of Vodafone, which employs 90,000 people directly across Europe and Africa.

Della Valle was tasked with turning Vodafone around when she permanently took on the top job from the role of CFO last month. Three major shareholders could all benefit from a break up of the group.

“To consistently deliver, Vodafone must change,” she said.

“My priorities are customers, simplicity and growth.”

Della Valle targeted Vodafone’s central operations when she took the helm at the start of the year, with 500 job cuts. In Germany 1,300 roles will be lost, the company said in March, while 1,000 are being shed in Italy.

The additional cuts announced on Tuesday will be spread across its European markets, as well as more reductions in the centre, she told reporters.

Germany, Vodafone’s biggest market, was underperforming, Della Valle said, while “structural change”, meaning a full or partial sale, was an option in Spain.

Tuesday’s share price fall was probably due to its forecast of €3.3bn (R68bn) of cash flow this financial year, down from €4.8bn in the year to end-March 2023, she said. Analysts had expected €3.6bn.

The CEO put the lower forecast down to the timing of payments for cable TV in Germany due to a change in the law.

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