BT Group is planning to slash up to 55,000 jobs in the next five to seven years as it makes greater use of technology to cut costs and simplify its business.
The UK telecom company said Thursday that its total workforce would fall to between 75,000 and 90,000 by 2028-2030, from 130,000 at present. That includes BT employees and contractors supplied by a third party.
Shares in the company tumbled 8% in London.
“By continuing to build and connect like fury, digitize the way we work and simplify our structure, by the end of the 2020s BT Group will rely on a much smaller workforce and a significantly reduced cost base,” CEO Philip Jansen said in a statement. “New BT Group will be a leaner business with a brighter future.”
Earlier this week, Vodafone
(VOD), once the world’s biggest mobile telecom group, said it would cut 11,000 jobs, or about 11% of its workforce, over three years. The company also unveiled a turnaround plan to revive its ailing fortunes under new CEO Margherita Della Valle.
European telecom companies have fared particularly poorly over the past decade, delivering lower returns to shareholders than their US peers, according to McKinsey.
BT said revenue fell 1% to £20.7 billion ($25.8 billion) for the year to March, with growth in Openreach, its fibre broadband network, “more than offset” by declines in other businesses. Its adjusted earnings rose 5% to £7.9 billion ($9.8 billion).