StarHub: Workforce cuts of at least 300 full-time employees in ‘efficiency’ drive

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StarHub plans to cut at least 300 full-time employees as part of a “strategic transformation” which aims to eliminate S$210 million in costs over a three-year period, the telco said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

“Recognizing the inevitable pressures from intense local competition and adverse industry trends, StarHub has also initiated an operational efficiency program to improve productivity, improve speed in decision making and lower operating expenditure across the board,” the telco said. “The strategic review process has also unfortunately resulted in the conclusion that a reduction of workforce is required.”

The job cuts would mainly be in “non-customer facing” positions, it said, noting that the total number of cuts could be higher due to natural attrition and tight management of contractor roles.

StarHub said it would begin notifying employees as soon as possible, and no later than the end of the month.

Still adding workers in select businesses

While the company will be reducing “overall resources,” it will continue to expand its workforce in segments including cyber-security, home and enterprise services and customer relations, StarHub’s CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos, who took the helm in July after the position remained vacant for several months, said in the statement.

The CEO, who goes by Peter K, said intense competition has meant thinning margins, high content costs for Pay TV and lower voice revenue, making an “efficiency optimization” necessary.

“Technological innovation and competition are redefining how we deliver services to our customers and we at StarHub need to transform our operating model, otherwise we will face greater risks in the future,” Peter K said in the statement.

Cost cuts

The overall transformation program is aimed at cutting S$210 million in costs over a three-year period from 2019, it said.

In addition to job cuts, the program will seek savings in procurement, leasing costs, “rationalizing” spending in network and system repairs and maintenance and in sales and distribution expenses, StarHub said.

The company will have a one-off restructuring cost of around S$25 million, which will including funding for outplacement, training and coaching, StarHub said, adding it will work with affiliated companies and government agencies to help identify roles for the impacted employees.

The Singapore telco said that it would continue to invest in new businesses, including the cyber-security company Ensign InfoSecurity it created in a joint venture with a Temasek-linked company in early September.

It said it would invest in digitisation initiatives to change the customer experience and in improvements in wireless and fiber services to deliver content and applications to customers. StarHub also plans to accelerate investments in information and communications services for enterprise customers, the statement said.

This article was originally published on Wednesday 3 October 2018 at 20:57 SGT; it has since been updated. 

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