Vodafone Announces 11,000 Layoffs Globally

Shares of Vodafone dipped in response to the news, reaching their lowest levels since 2002.

The tech layoffs haven’t ended yet: Vodafone has announced plans to slash 11,000 jobs around the globe, the biggest cuts in the company’s history.

The multinational telecommunications company says that the job cuts — which are set to take place over the next three years — are part of a turnaround plan for its flagging performance in recent years.

More than a few major tech companies have issued their own mass layoffs since the trend began in late 2022, often citing an uncertain economy. The biggest job losses have been at Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, but Vodafone is now joining their ranks.

Vodafone Needs a Big Turnaround

Shares of Vodafone dipped in response to the news, dropping as much as 9% within the day and reaching their lowest levels since 2002.

Unlike a lot of headline-generating tech layoffs in recent months, Vodafone’s job cuts come within the context of a larger plan. New Vodafone CEO Margherita Della Valle just took the role last month, after serving as CFO for Vodafone Group. She’s tasked with reinvigorating the company, which has been losing to its rivals in major European markets, Reuters reports.

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The company is underperforming in Germany, its biggest market, Della Valle explains. The company has already made some cuts in its central operations, slashing 500 positions early in the year.

The Big Tech Layoffs Will Continue

We’ve tracked the mass layoffs in tech for months, and they’re still on the roll. Cutting five or six percent of the total workforce appears to be the formula that tech executives are operating with.

Other measures of austerity go hand-in-hand with layoffs. Many major tech companies are pushing for a return to the office and a rollback of remote working options.

At the same time, some corporations are cutting back on benefits: Google is ending its complimentary snacks, shuttles, and fitness classes. In other words, the boom years are over for the tech world.

Are Layoffs Really Needed?

The actual necessity of any large-scale layoffs can be hard to pin down amid a flood of thin but PR-friendly company lines.

Some experts hold that companies issuing indiscriminate layoffs aren’t helping themselves from a revenue perspective: Speaking to The Verge in January, Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Jeffrey Pfeffer said that layoffs may actually reduce the productivity needed for continued success.

“Oftentimes, companies don’t have a cost problem. They have a revenue problem. And cutting employees will not increase your revenue. It will probably decrease it.” – Jeffrey Pfeffer

We wrote last month that more than 100,000 people have lost their jobs in tech since last year. Now, that number is set to continue growing, with Vodafone’s job losses metered out over three more years.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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