Aussie layoffs on the cards for Gen-i

Summary:The IT services arm of Telecom New Zealand has confirmed it will shortly reorganise its Australian business, with the potential for some jobs to be made redundant.

The IT services arm of Telecom New Zealand has confirmed it will shortly reorganise its Australian business, with the potential for some jobs to be made redundant.

"We are currently reviewing how we resource our business to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible," Gen-i said in a company statement. "That will mean change for some of the roles in Gen-i by the end of this financial year (ie, June 2010). We have a few roles in consultation in Australia. Until the consultation period is complete, we cannot accurately predict how many roles will be disestablished."

The news comes after Computerworld New Zealand reported last week that "dozens" of jobs (although less than 100) would go at Gen-i in New Zealand as the company's parent went through a restructuring initiative.

The moves are part of a wider restructure at Telecom New Zealand, which was announced by chief executive Paul Reynolds in mid-April, that would see an initial 200 jobs cut across the whole group by the end of June this year.

Gen-i had already been engaged in looking at areas where it could be more efficient in its use of staff — a move flagged in NZ back in December last year.

In Australia, Gen-i has not gained significant mindshare against top-tier IT services players like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu or CSC, or even announced significant contracts compared with the next rank of players such as Oakton, ASG and UXC.

However, the company has been relatively open about discussing its plans with the press. In February 2009, ARN reported that Gen-i Australia general manager Phil Varney said the company was looking to lessen its reliance on key local customers like the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and would target select sectors in the enterprise market as well as the lucrative mid-market.

The company has also taken steps to distance itself from local Telecom NZ stablemate AAPT, for which the company has said it would consider offers. The Australian has reported that interested bidders include national broadband provider TPG and private equity firms.

"As we continue our streams of work to build our future business model choices, there will be conducting further reviews of the way the business operates, to enable growth and to meet the current and future needs of clients," said the Gen-i statement.

Topics: Telcos, AAPT, New Zealand

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