UK network operator Vodafone has confirmed it is laying off 500 staff in its continuing effort to cut costs in the face of falling profits.
The 500 people were given the bad news this morning. The cuts are coming from across the group, though retail operations won't be affected; 170 are being laid off from the Newbury headquarters. This is in line with previous moves by the company to cut back-end staff while focusing on selling stuff - not an unreasonable strategy given prevailing conditions.
The company sent us a statement saying that no services will be affected, which does beg the question of what those 500 people were doing all day. Network operators are notoriously overstaffed, but there is a concern that this policy might see fewer products developed in future, as well as less involvement in industry bodies - for better or worse.
Vodafone also tells us that: "New roles are being created to develop total communications services and solutions and in addition the retail estate and online services will be the focus for ongoing investment", which would seem to reinforce the shift from developing products to packaging and selling them.