Optus cuts 200 roles, expands Agile program

Telco prepares to shift to five Agile tribes

An Optus spokesperson has confirmed that it expects to around 200 redundancies from changes to its consumer business.

“As Optus continues to evolve the way we work, do business and fund future investments, we are making additional organisational changes that further remove duplication, deliver operating efficiencies and embrace next-generation technologies, digitisation and automation,” a spokesperson told Computerworld in an emailed statement.

Optus “has made a number of operational changes since launching the company’s business transformation strategy,” the spokesperson said. “We have spoken with affected employees and are discussing redeployment opportunities where available.”

 An email from CEO Allen Lew to staff sent earlier this week announced details of the changes at Optus.

“We made the first of our organisational changes as part of our digital transformation last year and today we are building on those changes across Optus Consumer Australia to further propel us towards our vision,” the email said.

“We are making changes to roles, reshaping teams and centralising functions to ensure we continue to be aligned with customers. We are continuing to remove duplication and streamlining processes to create even greater efficiencies and maintain a sustainable cost base. We are also further reducing management layers to speed up decision making and empower our people.”

As part of that shift, the telco is expanding its use of Agile from the two existing “tribes” into five new tribes and two Centres of Excellence (CoEs).

“We will introduce the Agile way of working to priority areas in our FY20 Plan that will benefit from a high degree of cross-functional collaboration to deliver exceptional experience to customers,” Lew wrote.

“Some new roles with a technology and data focus have been created in these tribes and some existing roles will change.”

Optus cut its head count by over 14 per cent in the 12 months to 31 March, reducing its workforce from around 8500 to just under 7300 and cutting staff costs by 15.2 per cent.

Rival Telstra yesterday revealed that it was bringing forward the announcement of a number of redundancies linked to its T22 strategy. By the end of this financial year Telstra expects to have announced 6000 of the 8000 redundancies envisaged as part of T22.

“We understand the significant impact on our people and the uncertainty created by these changes,” Telstra’s CEO, Andy Penn, said in a statement.

“We are doing everything we can to support our people through the change and this includes the up to $50 million we have committed to a Transition program that provides a range of services to help people move into a new role.”

“We expect to have announced or completed approximately 75 per cent of our direct workforce role reductions by the end of FY19,” the CEO said.