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Everything Everywhere axes 1,200

Let the synergies commence

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The newly-combined Orange and T-Mobile will be laying off more than 1,200 people whose work it reckons is replicated between the two companies - 7.5 per cent of the combined staff.

The cuts will be in the back offices; retail and customer support staff will keep their jobs. But departments whose work is replicated by both companies - legal, marketing, IT support, HR and so forth - can expect to take the brunt of the cuts.

The company will be consulting over the next three months to decide exactly who's for the chop, as it is legally required to do, but this time it looks as though it really will be middle management which gets pruned.

Senior management has already been cut back - around 30 posts have disappeared since Everything Everywhere became a legal entity. The company has just committed to opening more shops and maintaining more base stations, so front line staff can't really be cut as long as Everything Everywhere continues to market itself as two separate brands (Orange and T-Mobile).

If it's only duplicated work that's cut then customers shouldn't initially notice, though it's hard to imagine such changes can be accomplished without any disruption. The network and customer support might continue as usual (and the latter should be in a better mood this morning), but a network operator has to negotiate with suppliers, roll out new services and do all sorts of logistics planning that will obviously be interrupted as the synergies are applied. It might be a year or two before such interruptions manifest as problems, which will be small consolation to the 1,200 laid off. ®

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