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Vodafone to axe 450 employees from UK ops

The firm is to dismiss a fifth of its senior head office managers even as the firm will be recruiting about 500 sales and retail staff.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2008 04:17 PM IST

Europe's largest mobile phone operator Vodafone is all set to axe about 450 employees from its operations in the UK, a media report said on Wednesday.

Vodafone is to dismiss a fifth of its senior head office managers even as the firm would be recruiting about 500 sales and retail staff, The Times reported.

"The middle management cuts, which will result in 450 job losses from its UK operations, reflects a shift of emphasis away from administration to sales," the newspaper said in an article published in its online edition.

According to the report, the move comes as the company attempts to increase its share of the mobile internet and broadband market.

Vodafone, which is led by India-origin CEO Arun Sarin, plans to hire 330 retail staff for its stores to sell "data services such as music products and mobile broadband".

"A further 130 people will be taken on in sales roles in its enterprise business and 30 in its online sales and customer service division," the report stated.

The newspaper noted that the mobile phone operator claims about 50 per cent of the market for mobile broadband and BlackBerry use.

The firm recently said that "non-text data accounts for 8 per cent of service revenue, compared with 19.1 per cent from text messaging, and has steadily increased each quarter," The Times added.

However, quoting analysts, the report pointed out that most of the improvement came from "BlackBerry e-mail use or ringtone downloads, rather than the more lucrative internet browsing or data downloading that networks were seeking".

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