In the most recent layoffs in the technology sector, British telecoms and television firm BT announced Thursday that it would eliminate up to 55,000 employees by the end of the decade to reduce expenses.
Two days after UK mobile phone giant Vodafone announced plans to lose 11,000 jobs, or one-tenth of its employees over three years, the layoffs, which account for 42% of BT’s workers, were announced.
BT employs 130,000 staff, including contractors.
According to a results statement, the group will reduce this to between 75,000 and 90,000 people over the following five to seven years.
The bad news comes after tens of thousands of jobs were cut this year in the global tech sector, including those at Facebook parent company Meta, as growing inflation weakens the global economy.
BT is implementing further cutbacks, having slashed costs under a plan launched three years ago.
“By the end of the 2020s, BT Group will rely on a much smaller workforce and a significantly reduced cost base,” said chief executive Philip Jansen.
The company was “navigating an extraordinary macro-economic backdrop”, he added in a results statement.
The streamlined organization would “digitise the way we work and simplify our structure” and “be a leaner business with a brighter future.”
In order to create and operate its entire fiber internet and 5G network, according to BT, it would not require as many employees.
The company also disclosed on Thursday that its fiscal year ended in March saw a net profit increase of 50% to £1.9 billion ($2.4 billion), but the results were distorted by a special tax benefit.
However, pre-tax profit fell 11% to £1.7 billion from a year earlier, while revenue fell 1% to £20.7 billion.
Investors meanwhile took flight following the news.
BT’s share price sank almost nine percent to 134.80 pence in morning deals on the rising London stock market.
“Headlines will no doubt focus on the job cuts,” noted Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Matt Britzman.
“It’s drastic, but it’s not overly surprising given the mounting costs and slim margins in the wider business.”