Digicel to cut staff from global workforce

Jamaica Observer:-Telecommunications company Digicel will be cutting its global workforce by at least 1,625 employees, starting March 1, as the company seeks to restructure its operations.

In a press release yesterday, Digicel said its plans to design and integrate its organisation to be fit for purpose for 2030, and beyond, will result in the reduction of approximately 25 per cent of its global workforce over the next 18 months.

The first step in the process being the offer of an Enhanced Voluntary Separation Programme which will open next month.

In a response to the Jamaica Observer queries, Head of Group Public Relations Antonio Graham said Digicel currently employs in excess of 6,500 full-time employees, in addition to contractors and part-time employees.

Digicel’s redundancy numbers this year will affect at least 500 more individuals than it did in its last restructuring in 2012.

Back then, the move was aimed at driving efficiencies and maximising performance following the integration of the Jamaican Claro operations into the company, said Digicel. Now the company seeks to design a market structure which will comprise a small number of regional hubs — two for the Caribbean and Central America tourism regions and two for the Pacific region.

Graham was tight-lipped on locations of the hubs, but noted that the regional hubs will house back office centralised functions, while delivering shared services.

“This means that staff in our 31 markets will be focused on sales and enhanced service delivery and resources and investment are prioritised to drive competition and innovation,” she said.

Currently, Digicel has no regional hubs but will announce the locations of the hubs at a later date. Graham added that since the enhanced voluntary separation programme is a global one, it is not possible to predict what volume of applications the company will get from Jamaica.

The telecommunications firm said it is now taking things to the “next level” and initiating an ongoing data network upgrade programme through a global partnership agreement that was signed on February 9 in Shenzhen, China, by Digicel Chairman Denis O’Brien and Dr Zhao, chairman and CEO of ZTE.

Digicel noted that this is the largest network transformation ever undertaken by the company and customers will very soon start to see the benefits.

Commenting on the programme, Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves said: “We are building Digicel for 2030 and beyond. Our transformation programme sees us taking the bull by the horns and daring to be different by challenging the status quo and by innovation-led growth. That’s what we are known for and that’s what we will continue to be known for into the future.”