Summary:

Not great news around the holidays, but at least some of the consultations won’t begin until January: UK mobile operators O2 and Everything…

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Not great news around the holidays, but at least some of the consultations won’t begin until January: UK mobile operators O2 and Everything Everywhere — the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK — are separately preparing layoffs that will, in total, number in the thousands. O2 is focussing primarily in the area of sales, while Everything Everywhere is following through on a bigger plan to save some £3.5 billion ($5.5 billion) on the back of post-merger synergies.

Everything Everywhere is currently in the process of laying off 1,200 employees, a strategy it announced back in September, as part of an overall plan to reduce headcount and cut costs after the merger of the two operators.

But a report late last week in The Times alleged that the operator was actually preparing to axe an additional 3,000 employees over the next four years — in other words, layoffs totalling some 4,200. The company told news site Total Telecom that the higher number was “speculative” and said that there were “currently no plans” for further reorganisation beyond the 1,200 already announced.

In all, the merged operations of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK resulted in a staff of 16,000.

Meanwhile, Telefonica-owned O2 in the UK is preparing to lay off hundreds of employees as it mergers its customer sales and customer services departments and tries to rethink how it sells products across mobile, broadband and media services.

The news was first reported by CityAM.

The restructure will result in some 10 senior managers changing roles. So far we know that finance officer Ramon Ros will return to parent company Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) in Madrid and customer service director Cheryl Black will retire. Steve Shurrock will take on a new role as chief executive of O2 Ireland.

Consultations with other O2 workers will begin in January.

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