Axeman: BT boss Gavin Patterson is poised to announce thousands of redundancies
BT boss Gavin Patterson is poised to announce the company’s biggest jobs cull in a decade as he battles to revive its fortunes.
The telecom giant’s chief executive is set to announce thousands of redundancies when the firm reports its full-year results next week, according to the Financial Times.
Analysts have speculated BT could axe 6,600 roles, saving £500million, on top of 4,000 last year.
That would be the biggest reduction since some 30,000 employees exited between 2008 and 2009, in a mix of redundancies and retirements.
A spokesman for BT yesterday declined to comment.
The FTSE 100 firm’s shares are languishing at six-year lows.
It has struggled in recent years as has juggled regulatory pressure to spend more on Britain’s broadband network with Patterson’s plan to lure customers to its pay-TV service by ploughing billions into expensive sports broadcasting rights.
It was also left reeling by a £500million Italian accounting scandal last year, which took a big bite out of profits, and its pension deficit has ballooned to an estimated £13billion.
In a glimmer of good news, Patterson in March struck a deal with union chiefs to close the defined benefit pension scheme and this averted the threat of strikes.
However, a major reduction to its 100,000-strong workforce could bring fresh trouble.
Reports that redundancies are coming have emerged after BT called in consultants to help it reorganise its business last year.
But a jobs cull would be in stark contrast to plans at its cables arm, Openreach.
The business is hiring 3,500 engineers to roll out broadband to 3m homes and business.