back to article There will be blood: BT to axe 13,000 employees

Former state monopoly BT is to chop 13,000 jobs over the next three years and will shutter its current London HQ under plans to wring out £1.5bn in costs and boost its flagging share price. The roles earmarked for redundancy are mainly in the back office and middle management, but BT did not specify which areas of the business …

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  1. Craigie

    106,000??

    What on earth do these 100,000+ people currently do?? That seems an awful lot just to provide crap phone and 'broadband' services?

    1. Ralph the Wonder Llama
      Joke

      Re: 106,000??

      Holes in the ground won't stare at themselves you know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 106,000??

        Judging by the ex-BT people I've met, a lot of people in BT seem to have been brainwashed into revelling in the necessity to fill in paperwork in quadruplicate and holding up any semblance of innovation. Planning to get things done is the BT way without ever actually getting anything done in any shape or form whatsoever!

      2. fobobob

        Re: 106,000??

        "Holes in the ground won't stare at themselves you know."

        Actually, if you carefully position a mirror above them...

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: 106,000??

      There used to be about 30 people on the phones to answer calls to the Big Ban's office.

      But some in London must be like me - constantly shoved from one building to the next as inter departmental wars were fought for budgets and control of tech.

      I ended up being told I was now a Broadband Helldesk bod --which, at the time meant fielding calls from irate customers of OTHER providers who had found a 'modem' in a box of cornflakes (standard issue, cheap and shite while the Tadpole just worked).

      The job was dealing with other companies not even looking at work and marking them 'BT Fault' then dumping them in in our work queues.

      Oh Talk_talk you may have changed your name but NEVER your practices and as for Virigin --- standard Branson promises of Unicorn poo that was never delivered.

      At least I had several years of working in some of the best touristy bits of London.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: 106,000??

        "Oh Talk_talk you may have changed your name but NEVER your practices and as for Virigin --- standard Branson promises of Unicorn poo that was never delivered."

        The name Virgin Media is licenced from Branson. The real owner is Liberty Global (or whatever they call themselves now).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 106,000??

          Last meeting i had with my BT account manager he brought 6 extra warm bodies to the meeting, who all purported to be experts in something or other (mostly waffle).

          Room Meat is a telling sign of middle management bloat.

        2. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: 106,000??

          Had to check the gargler... turns out stalkstalk used to be that outfit called 'two-can telecon'

          Always thought the name was appropriate

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 106,000??

      "What on earth do these 100,000+ (BT) people currently do?"

      {Start of Rant}

      Tell you (along with their narcissistic fcuk buddy Ofcom) how wonderful 'up to' obfuscated legacy copper carcass FTTC {shitty-mediocre} Broadband is.

      But odd how narcissistic Ofcom fail to tell consumers the truth...

      If their line is 500m (250m as the crow flies) from any BT FTTC equipment, they don't have a hope of hell of getting anything better in the next 10 years than what they have currently (from BT), without a massive network upgrade to full fibre, because pointless G.fast is just not cost effective deployed at the 'Pole'.

      BT spend vast amounts, paying these people to pontificate or bounce complaints between Ofcom/BT/Ombudsman Services (you could probably add bribery {aka. lobbying} to that, if you looked hard enough - looking at the Italian scandal, aswell as place key people in key regulatory Ofcom jobs) , while effectively sitting on their hands acting like the drunk blocking the pub doorway, waiting for further Government handouts, making sure no one can get to the bar to order their 'full fibre' drinks.

      BT get handouts enough because they get most of the big Government contracts, which allows them to piggyback their own investments off the back of those large public sector investments, to effectively 'own' the network.

      In the meantime (Ofcom's latest decision) BT "Landline only*" customers (who never make a call) pay £8 more a month to BT for having third party/Virgin Media Broadband.

      What sort of fcuked up regulatory decision is that allowing BT Retail to access (what is) confidential information regards what services are delivered by Openreach?

      *BT/Ofcom do a nice little deal so they fail to mention "Landline only" doesn't actually mean BT landline only customers, in the normal sense of the term.

      {End of Rant}

      1. gbru2606

        Re: 106,000??

        Not to forget that many of their engineers were trained for "free" (taxpayer funded) by the army.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They'll be a few thousand BT Van effigies burnt this November, no doubt...

      And not just because of 'up to' 1-2Mbps over 2km+ unreliable copper broadband lines, in areas that are deceptively labelled "Fibre enabled".

      (There is a vindictive streak in me imagining some of the older BT senior management attempting to apply for new jobs online {the modern way} via their previously unused home BT broadband 1-2Mbps connection, with the senior management that survive eventually getting relocated to Swansea's BT Tower)

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: They'll be a few thousand BT Van effigies burnt this November, no doubt...

        with the senior management that survive eventually getting relocated to Swansea's BT Tower

        Why reward them?

    5. Slx

      Re: 106,000??

      If it's anything like what has happened with Eir (formerly Eircom, formerly Telecom Éireann) in Ireland, they'll outsource everything for "flexibility" i.e. very few people will have real jobs.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What 13000 disgruntled ex-BT workers should do?

      Help the full fibre 1Gbps B4RN model become an established alternative to BT across the UK, in any way they can.

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Ouch.

    Condolences to the to-be-laid-off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well hopefully alot of it comes from Global Services, that division has been under-performing for years, so it's time it took a good kicking in return.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        1/3 apparently

      2. Anonymous Coward
    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Advertised as 'up to' 13000 jobs...

      By BT Broadband standards that will surely mean 1000-2000 jobs at most.

  3. Portent

    No people skills whatsovever

    ' Speaking of the latest job-shedding, chief exec Gavin Patterson, said: “I am really excited to be delivering the next stage of BT’s transformation and have put in place the team that will support me in achieving these objectives.” '

    --- This shows a complete lack of people skills and empathy at the affect his decision will have on thousands of lives. It's a completely inappropriate comment. What a ******.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      Being a sociopath is a prerequisite for a CEO, didn't you know?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. 0laf Silver badge

          Re: No people skills whatsovever

          Snakes in Suits is a book worth reading.

      2. alpine

        Re: No people skills whatsovever

        Being a football fan is also a prerequisite if you have customer's and shareholder's cash to dispose of.

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      It's been over 10 years since I took the money and legged it.

      ten years before that the top levels were saying EXACTLY the same shite

      SNAFU

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No people skills whatsovever

        4 years for me and I was there for 6 before that.

        GS used to be touted as the growth engine of the business, they hired loads of people, bought a load of other businesses to bolster it and then sold some huge loss making contracts which all became very public around 2008.

        Since then they've been cutting costs and aggressively managing people out of the business without any intention at any time of actually turning GS into a worthwhile division, they would have dumped it long ago if they could, it's just so hairy that no-one else wants it so all they can do is continue to shrink it in order to reduce the size of the problem.

        It's a horrible place to be and I feel very sorry for all of my ex-colleagues who still have to suffer there every day.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      What do you expect from a bloke with a haircut like that?

      The curious thing is that Hairboy Patterson has been at the helm for five years now, and he's only just come to the conclusion that the business was carrying 13,000 apparently superfluous middle managers. I presume (from seeing this done from the inside of other organisations) that the number was plucked from the well padded arse of an expensive management consultancy, because that's what dick-brain CEOs rely on for any decision more complex than "do I need to go to the toilet?"

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: No people skills whatsovever

        "because that's what dick-brain CEOs rely on for any decision more complex than "do I need to go to the toilet?"

        They have PA's for those minor decisions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No people skills whatsovever

          "They have PA's for those minor decisions."

          Knowing a fair few PA's I can safely say they are the ones that run the place. If half these directors had to fend for themselves, they would crash and burn by about 10am on the first Monday morning. That's provided they managed to get in because they forgot they needed to get petrol on the way home.

    4. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      He should be off as well.

      BT has have gone from ne gormless copycat strategy to another -

      'Lets be consultants! GDS or whatever, Massive fuck up/fraud.

      Lets be Sky, Massive footie bill.

      Why not - Lets be a good cheap telecoms company.

      Id guess the 16,000 are the arse end of the civil service like BT. Management trainees from pre-1984.

      1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: No people skills whatsovever

        >>Lets be Sky, Massive footie bill.

        Exactly that, I dumped BT when they spent all that money on football. WTF should I pay more for my phone line when I have no interest whatsoever in football.

        As a rather lame sort of protest I avoid clicking on any BT website "news" stories.

    5. Matt Ryan

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      Knew Gavin when I worked at Telewest - must be the looks that got him to the top of BT 'cos it ain't the brains.

    6. LimpedIn

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      Having worked for large organisations like this before, it never ceases to astound me what utter ar$£holes manage to elevate themselves to such positions. They skim along at the top of the organisation, raking in a huge wad and never daring to look down at the great unwashed shovelling the $h!t to keep them in their job.

      They then rip an organisation apart making mass redundancies and telling people "how exciting" the future is and then head off into the sunset in their chauffeur-driven Bently, to be congratulated by their flunkies.

      BT is reknowned for its appalling customer service, the inability of any of the individual organisations within it (Openreach, BT Business, BT Residential, etc.) to communicate (ironically) or accept responsibility for anything.

      How appropriate for such a shambles to be heading for an "exciting" future under the leadership of such a $h1t!!

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: No people skills whatsovever

        @LimpedIn

        If you think BT's got shite customer service, try "ITalk UK"... they don't even answer the damn phones when you try to report a line fault. Switching back to BT asap.

        BT Retail are actually the biggest cashcow for the corporation (not openreach). They're the ones that could in theory, charge enormous rent for rival companies in their exchanges.

    7. Lomax

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      It's the Asshole Effect in action:

      https://www.alternet.org/culture/ahole-effect-what-wealth-does-brain

    8. Chris 3

      Re: No people skills whatsovever

      I suspect El Reg mischievously took that quote from part of the press release and grafted the 'speaking of job cuts' bit so that we would all grab our pitchforks.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sales drop was "due to ongoing challenging market conditions and a reduction in IP Exchange volumes and equipment sales in line with our strategy to reduce low margin business," the company said.

    yeah... nothing to do with having an out dated business model of screw everyone we can.

    I've spent the last few years ripping out legacy BT systems from independent shops in south england, some of the contract terms and account managers i've seen and dealt with are jaw dropping.

    One shop was paying nearly 45k a year to BT for a service they didn't even use but were told they couldn't cancel without heavy penalty. new voip and internet contract comes in at least than 3k a year.

    BT are getting a taste of what they have deserved for decades.

    1. ds6 Bronze badge

      There is NO WAY that price is legit... That's on the level of armed robbery. My condolences to any business nabbed by BT's maw.

      But more importantly, is the reason they are getting so antsy to lay off employees (regardless of if they need them or not) because they are finally bleedong the rock dry and need to preemptively recoup losses that will occur later over these lost contracts? They already make billions in revenue, so it's not like they're too bad off, yet.

  5. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    BT's London HQ

    Interesting bit of trivia about BT's current-but-about-to-be-former office near St Paul's - it's the location from where wireless signals were first publicly transmitted by Marconi. I remember spotting the blue plaque when passing a while back.

    (One day you''ll be in a pub quiz and thank me for stuff like this)

  6. zaax

    It took Openreach 8 days to repair my line, which UK power networks broke (a public sewer problem last year was sorted with-in 2 hours).

    1. Adrian Harvey
      Trollface

      What exactly are you downloading to make your line equivalent to a public sewer?

      Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        they apparently were trying to dump a log.

        1. ds6 Bronze badge

          Was the log chunked or compressed? That can help clear the pipes, but you have to get your hands dirty.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        What exactly are you downloading to make your line equivalent to a public sewer?

        BT's annual report maybe?

    2. meadowlark

      Do you remember when BT was privatised and then Norman Tebbit got himself a job on the board ? A year or so later, he was boasting that when BT was a civil service department, it took longer than 6 weeks to have a phone installed whereas now it was 2 days.

      This wasn't true but what he didn't say was that before privatisation, it only took 2 days to get your phone fixed when it went out of order !

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A nice easy way to reduce your pension costs, make redundant, rename role, reemploy. Cynical? Moi?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am really excited

    what a (...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what a (...)

      three nippled tit?

  9. Ptol

    if you think they are bad now...

    wait till all the good employable staff have found new jobs, and only the runts of the litter are left... Isnt that what happens with most corporate resizing strategies, who 6 months later realise that the staff they shed were the ones actually doing the work?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

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