There will be redundancies from the Vodafone-Hutchison plan to fuse Australian operations according to an internal memo to employees today from Hutchison Australia CEO Nigel Dews.
3 CEO Nigel Dews
"Today nothing changes, but as we bring together companies with similar functions doing similar things unfortunately there will be some duplication," Dews said in the memo to workers for Hutchison's Australian mobile brand 3.
Those to be kept would be chosen for their attributes, he said. "It's something we'll need to work through, to ensure we select the people from both companies with the right skills, experience and expertise, and design an organisation and culture which is even more exciting to work in than the one we have built so far."
Dews stressed that the agreement still needed to achieve shareholder and ACCC agreement before anything could happen, with the latter not expected for at least three months. The shareholders will vote in an extraordinary general meeting in early April, according to the chief executive.
"Right now I know that it means uncertainty for everyone, but I can promise you that you will be top of mind throughout this process and that we will be as transparent and open as possible," he said.
Dews also addressed why the joint venture would use Vodafone's brand, saying that Vodafone had a presence in 67 countries with over 289 million customers, four million in Australia, so that it "makes sense" to use it.
Until the ACCC and shareholders give the go ahead, nothing would happen to 3's brand, and customers' services and contracts wouldn't change, the executive said.
After that occurred, there could be shake-ups. "Executives from both companies will be involved in planning for the future, because once the decision is made, we want to move quickly to put our proposals forward to the new board for approval and implementation," Dews said.
"I am sorry I can't give you more answers and be more definite about what might happen to you", he concluded. "It is extremely important that I keep the communications channels open to you about what's happening, notably where we are up to with the process and how positions will be filled."