Barbados Today:-The telecommunications company Digicel has begun its global voluntary separation programme aimed at cutting approximately 25 per cent of its workforce.
However, company officials are yet to give market specifics as to the likely impact of the exercise, which began yesterday.
Digicel, which operates in 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and South Pacific and is believed to employ just over 6,500 full-time staff, announced last month that it would be embarking on a “2030 global transformation” programme in an effort to restructure its operations.
The Irish-owned telecommunications group, which said it had invested over US$1 billion in upgrades over the last three years, witnessed a six per cent decline in revenue for the September to December 2016 period, with debt surpassing more than US$6 billion.
Asked about the possible impact of the global transformation programme on the Barbados market, Head of Group Public Relations Antonia Graham told Barbados TODAY it was difficult to say, stressing that “the programme only started yesterday and staff can apply to it”.
“The first step in that is the offer of an enhanced voluntary separation programme, which opened on March 1, 2017. Given that this is a global programme and voluntary, we can’t give market specifics,” Graham said.
“Digicel 2030 is our global transformation programme – the core of which are complete redesign of the organizational structure; putting customers in control and making commitment to deliver a superior superfast network experience. In terms of the future organizational structure, this simplification and standardization of how we are organized means that there will be an approximately
25 per cent reduction in our global workforce over the next 18 months.”
This is not the first time that the telecommunications company is slashing its workforce through voluntary separation. After cutting about ten per cent of its staff in Jamaica in 2009, Digicel had later extended a similar offer to Barbados and other parts of the region.
Reiterating what the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer Colm Delves had said at the end of last month, Graham said the current transformation programme would “see 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”.
“That means adopting a digital first approach so customers can enjoy an enhanced entertainment content and business solutions experience with an array of advanced new products and services and a refreshed retail experience putting them in the driving seat.
“On the plus side, Digicel is one of the first communications and entertainment providers in the world to initiate a wide scale transformation agenda; we are building Digicel for 2030 and beyond,” the Jamaica-based Graham said.