The latest move to help reduce the Group’s cost could see Vodafone Italy’s workforce shrunk by around a fifth

In November last year, following a resoundingly poor set of financial results, then-CEO Nick Read announced that Vodafone Group would implement various cost cutting measures in an attempt to save €1 billion over the next thee years. Read hinted that this process would inevitably include job losses, though at what scale was left unclear.

By January 2023, however, the first signs of restructuring were beginning to show, with reports suggesting that the company would look to cut “sever hundred jobs”, with the company’s London office set to take the brunt of the cuts.

Last month, in February, Vodafone released its latest financial results, with new interim CEO Margherita Della Valle at the helm for the first time. While these results were once again uninspiring, the company did not lower its guidance, with Della Valle saying that around €500 million-worth of cost cutting initiatives were already underway.

“We’ve already taken action, including simplifying our structure to give local markets full autonomy and accountability to make the best commercial decisions for their customers. In addition, we now have initiatives underway to generate around half of our €1 billion cost savings target. There is more to do and our focus is to provide a better service to our customers, become a simpler business and deliver growth,” she said.

Now, one month later, it seems that some of these measures include job cuts in the highly competitive Italian market, with local union sources telling the media that around 1,000 jobs are being targeted for termination by the operator.

Vodafone’s Italian workforce totalled 5,765 this time last year, hence the loss of 1,000 jobs would mean cutting around a fifth of staff in the country.

According to the unions, negotiations over the cuts are set to take place in the coming weeks.

Italy has been a challenging market for Vodafone since 2018, when French telecoms group Iliad entered the market and trigged a price war that is still ongoing.

In related news, this week has not been all doom and gloom for Vodafone, with media sources today hinting that the long-awaited merger negotiations between Vodafone UK and Three UK could finally be reaching a conclusion.

Discussions were formally confirmed to be taking place in October last year, with sources from Bloomberg suggesting that a deal could be announced “as soon as this month”.

Sources expect Vodafone to own 51% of the joint entity, with Three’s owner, CK Hutchison, owning the remaining 49%.

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