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BT Layoffs Slash 55,000 Jobs to Create 'Leaner Business'

AI will help BT deliver customer service 'in a more seamless way.'

Edward Gately

May 18, 2023

3 Min Read
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chase4concept/Shutterstock

BT layoffs will impact up to 55,000 of the communications services provider’s workforce over the next five to seven years.

BT announced the cuts with the UK-based company’s earnings for its fiscal year 2023, which ended March 31. Plans are to reduce the company’s total workforce from 130,000 to somewhere between 75,000 and 90,000 sometime between fiscal years 2028 and 2030.

“By continuing to build and connect like fury, digitize the way we work and simplify our structure, by the end of the 2020s BT Group will rely on a much smaller workforce and a significantly reduced cost base,” said Philip Jansen, BT’s CEO. “[The] new BT Group will be a leaner business with a brighter future.”

The BT layoffs will impact both workers directly employed by BT and non-employees supplied by a third party.

Keep up with our telecom-IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and the ensuing channel impact.

Digitization, Automation Behind BT Layoffs

According to CNN, during a call with analysts, Jansen said digitization and automation will replace 10,000 roles at the telecom giant.

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BT’s Philip Jansen

“We will be a beneficiary of artificial intelligence (AI) unequivocally,” he said. “Our chatbot, Amy, deals with lots of customer queries already.”

Jansen said the technology will help BT deliver customer service “in a more seamless way.”

The BT layoffs are just the latest among companies doing business in the channel. Job cuts have impacted thousands of workers since the start of the year. Among the most recent layoffs are DropboxRed HatCDWF5 and Akamai.

Earlier this week, UK wireless carrier Vodafone announced layoffs that will impact 11,000 workers over the next three years as its new CEO says the company’s performance “has not been good enough.”

For its fiscal 2023, BT’s revenue fell 1% to $25.8 billion. Declines in other businesses offset growth in Openreach, its fiber broadband network.

“Openreach is competing strongly and it’s clear that customers love full fiber,” Jansen said. “The Openreach board has reaffirmed its target to reach 25 million premises with fiber to the premises (FTTP) by the end of 2026 and plans to further accelerate take-up on the network. In consumer, we’re delivering for customers with string growth in FTTP and 5G, and we’re also seeing green shoots in B2B with a return to revenue growth in the final quarter in global and the creation of our newly integrated business unit.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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