TalkTalk talks job cuts

Restructuring ahoy

TalkTalk, the broadband provider spun off from CarphoneWarehouse, is cutting jobs.

The company held meetings with staff this morning as part of the consultation process. In total 580 jobs will go as part of a major restructure.

TalkTalk is the result of several mergers and takeovers, including Tiscali UK.

Chief Executive Dido Harding said five years of rapid growth and acquisitions had given TalkTalk 4.25 million broadband customers, but also left it with three separate and parallel businesses.

Harding said: "TalkTalk has effectively grown as three separate businesses serving the consumer and b2b markets, supported by a network division, each with its own IT, HR and finance function. This has created a level of duplication and it is now time to address that and build an organization fit for the future."

She said the broadband provider would now have one central services team and one IT department. It will also rebrand its business provider as TalkTalk Business instead of Opal.

An internal memo, seen by the Reg, gave more detail. It said that "Project Crystal" - research into staff views - found many people frustrated by decision-making hampered by "too much management intervention and insufficient clarity of roles".

The restructure will give TalkTalk two channels - household and business - supported by shared IT, HR and finance departments.

The memo said Paul Lawton will stay on as managing director of TalkTalk Business, formerly known as Opal.

Tristia Clarke stays on as Consumer Commercial Director. Chris Murton, Yves di Maria, Ian Cockburn, Jacquie Hamilton, Scott Marshall and CIO David Cooper are leaving the company in the next few months.

Clive Dorsman will head up a new, shared IT department. A Director of Technical Operations is still to be appointed.

The company was criticised last year by the Information Commissioner over its secret trial of stalking software which logged the web addresses its customers visited.

TalkTalk made a profit of £121m on sales of £887m in the last six months of last year. ®

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