StarHub will cut around 300 full-time staff to cope with a “competitive, declining industry”

StarHub will be retrenching approximately 300 full-time staff as part of its business transformation plan.
Singapore Press Holdings

StarHub is sending around 300 full-time employees to the chopping board.

That’s more than a tenth of its 2,500 full-time staff members.

By the end of the month, StarHub will start letting go of 300 full-time employees, as it embarks on a plan to restructure its business amid “intense local competition and adverse industry trends”, said the local telco in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 3).

The move was made by its recently-appointed chief executive, Peter Kaliaropoulos, as part of StarHub’s Strategic Efficiency Transformation Initiatives.

He said that StarHub must transform its operating model as “otherwise we will face greater risks in the future”.

He cited a laundry list of challenges for the company – “the intense competitive ferocity right across the market, new entrants, lower voice revenues, thinning margins for fixed broadband services, high content costs for pay-television operations and high market penetration for mobile and fixed services”.

StarHub’s earnings have been on a downward trend amid intensifying competition on the mobile and pay TV fronts, including streaming companies such as Netflix which provides content alternatives for customers.

In its statement, StarHub mentioned that apart from the retrenchment of around 300 full-time staff, other roles will be dropped by “ongoing natural attrition” and contractor positions will be tightened.

Instead, as part of the business transformation, the telco will hire more employees in fields such cyber security, home and enterprise solutions, and customer care, in a bid to shift its focus.

Although it will come with a one-off restructuring cost of some US$18 million (S$25 million), the overall transformation drive is expected to realise US$152 million (S$210 million) in savings from 2019 to 2021, StarHub said.

The telco said that it will work with affiliated companies, as well as the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (SISEU), the National Trades Union Congress’ Employment and Employability Institute, and government agencies, to help affected staff find suitable new jobs. It will also offer counselling services such as coaching and skills upgrading.