800 sacked as Telstra integrates BigPond

800 sacked as Telstra integrates BigPond

Summary: Telstra this afternoon said it would retrench about 800 staff as it merged its BigPond internet service provider unit with other divisions and established a new content division to be dubbed Telstra Media.

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Telstra this afternoon said it would retrench about 800 staff as it merged its BigPond internet service provider unit with other divisions and established a new content division to be dubbed Telstra Media.

Justin Milne
(Credit: Telstra)

BigPond has operated as a division within Telstra since it was established in the mid-1990s to serve the booming market for internet services. However, Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo said in a statement today the unit, overseen by Justin Milne since 2002, would be integrated into Telstra's central operations.

"After a tremendously successful incubation period at BigPond in recent years, and a result of the processes and tools introduced as part of the transformation [introduced by Trujillo], we can now integrate BigPond's access business with the rest of Telstra," the CEO said, noting it was a logical next step.

The BigPond brand will, however, continue to be used in the marketplace.

The move is part of a wider reshuffle that Trujillo dubbed a "major simplication" of processes in Telstra's consumer and small business units that would see red tape and bureaucracy reduced.

"The changes will mean fewer senior and middle managers, as well as support staff, are required to back the sales and marketing efforts of our front-line staff," Telstra's statement said. "The streamlining will affect more than 800 jobs ... these jobs are based mainly in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane."

Milne will move into a new role heading up Telstra's newly created media division, with oversight of the telco's portfolio of online consumer content.

"Establishing Telstra Media as a separate unit recognises the growing importance of content to Telstra's future, and our belief that content lies at the heart of Telstra's future as a media-comms company," said Trujillo.

Topics: Telcos, Broadband, Telstra, Tech Industry

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17 comments
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  • No more operatoinal separation

    I smell a NBN rat here. Testra argue against structural separation, melt Bigpond into the fold so if they're forced to separate, they can claim huge costs in either compensation or propaganda for high NBN pricing
    anonymous
  • Maybe

    Either that or they are planning in advance for the "economic crisis" we are currently having before it gets worse. The other questions will be whether or not the service level Bigpond provide drops in any way, or if down the line those 800 jobs are replaced offshore. Neither may happen but it is something to keep an eye open for.
    anonymous
  • And it could be...

    The Telstra transformation announced 3 years ago is reaping productivity benefits and these are simply fat from around the edges that are no longer needed.
    anonymous
  • I Agree

    The NBN rat was the first, second, and only thing that came to my mind in reading this article
    anonymous
  • LOL

    Go back to Area 51 and find me some aliens! You guys can really come up with some sh1t.
    anonymous
  • Not the end of the road by any means

    I predict that the Bigpond brand will one day get the heave ho. Think about it - Bigpond has such a dreadful reputation when it comes to pricing and value that it is getting to the stage where it is not commercially viable to trade under that name.

    It is good to see that Telstra is waking up to that fact but why did it take so long? I will also add that sacking 800 frontline workers whilst hanging on to Justin Milne and Co. is very poor form but not unexpected.

    I wonder what KRudd and Swannie will think about Sol hammering the Commonwealth Government's social security budget by dumping these 800 workers on the dole queue.
    anonymous
  • Integration gives higher bills.

    I just received my first account with combined phone and internet account, and surprise (NOT!) the charge for the internet acounts have risen from what they were when they were sent on a sperate bill. You would think that by combining them the cost should go down, but once again they have shown that you get no deals wtih the Telstra brand.
    anonymous
  • Wonder how KRudd Feels

    about increasing their profit by about $100,000,000 because of business efficiencies, staff reductions etc resulting in about $30,000,000 in taxes paid to the government = $37,500 per person in taxes, or about double the pension amount they government would have to pay in dole payment to them assuming they can't find work in this full employment environment.

    Lord Watchdog ... your arguments are always so weak that I am sure you are really a Telstra supporter in disguise just so you can give other Telstra supporters easy ammunition.
    anonymous
  • a monster out of control

    The quality of phone and internet service provided by Telstra here in north-east Queensland is quite shocking. I sometimes wonder, listening to the complaints of all kinds of people around me here, could they really do any worse? Shedding support staff sounds a really good idea...not.

    It strikes me the current model, where Telstra is behoven to its shareholders first and foremost, with weak and ineffective federal regulation (which lets cynically monopolistic pricing and service-provision strategies go through the net), is not in the best interests of the nation as a whole. There must be a better way of organising and running national telecommunications infrastructure.
    anonymous
  • Go WEST young man .. & woman

    "... Commonwealth Government's social security budget by dumping these 800 workers on the dole queue. ..."

    There are 27,000 jobs in Western Australia that cannot be filled. Plus a great deal in the North West that pay a FORTUNE a week, free airfares & time-off to Perth from job!!!

    We are rolling in money - WA is awash with CASH. Point your camel this way!!!!
    anonymous
  • @go west

    tell us more and please give us actuals graham, sound good!

    p.s in case your are in any doubt, im not taking the ***s, i'm serious.
    anonymous
  • Bugger KRudd

    There is no "full employment" and never has been. The lowest that unemployment has been in the last 50 years is 4% and that was under the previous Government. The current Government has had nine months to prove they can either match or better the previous Government on keeping the Australian economy resistant to so-called world wide financial turmoil and they have failed miserably.

    During the Howard years the Australian economy was about to grow at 4.3% whilst there were recessions in every other major economy: Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Why could we do it then and not now? Because KRudd is a goose who is more concerned with keeping the Abos contented with an apology and trying to re-ignite the republican debate, breaking an election commitment in the process, than worrying about mainstream issues like whether Joe Average can still afford to pay his bills.

    So as Australia slides on the ice towards recession and a filthy rich American by the name of Sol Trujillo sacks another 800 working-class Australians so that Telstra can earn the extra $100,000,000 that you quoted means that everything is hunky dory just because you think this means that paying 800 extra dole recipients is now affordable?

    I suppose you interpret this as Telstra's latest hand in corporate responsibility?

    "Lord Watchdog ... your arguments are always so weak that I am sure you are really a Telstra supporter in disguise just so you can give other Telstra supporters easy ammunition."

    I can confirm that this is not the case however it would be easy to be drawn to that conclusion. All the Telstra supporters here are so devoid of intellect that they'd need the assistance of their opposite numbers to have any chance at all in a debate on the touchy subject of any of Telstra's many failings.
    anonymous
  • Well done Lord Watchyourself

    The term "full employment" is when the official unemployment rate drops below 5%, this is an accepted reference and is used by many people in the job market.

    You are such a hypocrite that one second nothing less then 100.00000% is acceptable but then you defend others that are lucky to deliver 90% of anything.

    "... however it would be easy to be drawn to that conclusion. All the Telstra supporters here are so devoid of intellect ..." From that I take it you agree you are devoid of intellect and fall into that category, for once the pot calls it like it is...
    anonymous
  • Another snow job from the Telstra fanboys

    "The term 'full employment' is when the official unemployment rate drops below 5%, this is an accepted reference and is used by many people in the job market."

    It is a term only acceptable to those with a job which means that there are at least 4.5% (currently) who do not agree. It is just an interpretation and not an expression representing the facts.

    "You are such a hypocrite that one second nothing less then 100.00000% is acceptable but then you defend others that are lucky to deliver 90% of anything."

    Please provide some meaningful evidence to show where this garbage has any truthfulness or even relevance to the topic.
    anonymous
  • "WHINGEPOOL"

    Go back to WHINGEPOOL you will be happy there with all the AntiTelstra WHINGERS... lol
    anonymous
  • some meaningful evidence?

    Wow, all anyone needs to do is read your rambling double standard comments. Anyone who frequents this site would know how bias, hypocritical and how you can't sleep until you have bagged Telstra that day. Your double standards are as much of a laughing stock as Sydney Lawrence's one eyed support but at least he tries to use justifiable evidence.

    Do some research on what full employment means, OECD classes it as between 4% and 6.4% making 5% right in the middle of that band.

    Now go back and eat some of your cooking, we all know the dogs you watch won't even touch it.
    anonymous
  • It's the new (old) business model

    Theyre doing it for two reasons:

    1) They're trying to move back to the old telco model of billable services. Billable bits=bad billable services=good. Why? because you clearly want some services more than others and are prepared to pay more for them if there is a scarceity. Long distance lines we're scarce and therefore long distance calls made them heaps of money. There is no scarecity of bits in an open data carriage market. They all compete to provide abundant data while reducing the costs to you, the consumer. That idea gives Sol the night terrors. Ever wondered why the new division is called BigPond Media and not BigPond Internet and why they're cosying up so much to Foxtel? It's the services, stupid.

    2) Cutting costs and therefore services. What are you gonna do? Leave? hahahaha. No you're not. You didn't before, you won't now. ("you" in this instance is the kind of people who don't visit ZD or Whirlpool)

    3) How do you tell a Telstra employee is astroturfing? They have somthing positive to say on ZDNet.
    anonymous