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.

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, Tech Industry, Telstra

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