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Axe poised to swing at Vodafone

Hundreds to go tomorrow?

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Vodafone UK will tomorrow announce plans to cut hundreds of UK jobs, according to reports on Bloomberg. The cuts will be part of the ongoing cost reduction intended to reduce expenses by a billion pounds over the next 14 months.

The cuts, if cuts there are, aren't entirely unexpected - Vodafone has been warning that 2008 figures would not be good, and new boss Vittorio Colao has been talking about squeezing more money from existing customers rather than increasing market share, in developed markets at least, so some cost cutting would come as no great surprise.

Almost a year ago the network operator laid off 450 staff from its Newbury headquarters, though on that occasion the heads were replaced with salesmen around the country. Even that was only about ten per cent of the Newbury staff, and a fraction of the 10,000 heads making up Vodafone's UK payroll.

Vodafone tells us it doesn't comment on "rumour and speculation", so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if the knives really are out in Newbury, or if those 469 new sales staff haven't been pulling their weight. ®

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