Telenor to Lay Off One in Ten Employees in Norway

All 4000 employees of Telenor Norway were offered severance packages on Wednesday, writes  Dagens Næringsliv. The employee must accept the offer until 26 March. Employees can receive up to 21 months’ salary as severance package. 

CEO Berit Svendsen says their goal is to reduce the workforce by 450 in one year year. 

But she states they do not consider the downsizing for all job groups and their action is part of a new strategy for developing critical skills. 

– We will develop important skills of our own staff rather than purchasing this expertise through consultants. Today we have a few hundred consultants in Telenor, says Berit Svendsen.

Acting Head of Telenor, Jørn Bremtun told VG that new technology is the reason for downsizing. 

– We invest in new technology, and go from old landline technology to mobile broadband and high-capacity broadband. To make room for the investments we need to reduce costs, says Bremtun. 

Chief union representative at Telenor Per Gunnar Salomonsen says to NRK that they react strongly to downgrading the employee numbers. He believes the union should have been consulted about downsizing. 

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About Telenor

Telenor Group is a Norwegian multinational telecommunications company headquartered at Fornebu in Bærum, close to Oslo. It is one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications companies with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia. In addition, it has extensive broadband and TV distribution operations in four Nordic Countries, and a 10-year-old research and business line for Machine-to-Machine technology. Telenor owns networks in 12 countries, with operations in 29 countries if included their 33% ownership in VimpelCom Ltd.

Telenor is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange with a market capitalization per November 2013 of kr 223 billion, top three of all companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Approximately half of Telenor’s employees work outside Norway. Last year the company had reduced staffing in Norway by 225.

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