News : Telstra Flags More Cost Savings
Oct 15, 2013 -- Telstra chief executive David Thodey has defended the company’s decision of off-shoring contact centre jobs at the annual general meeting, saying customers are increasingly communicating with Telstra via internet.
Mr Thodey addressed shareholder concerns about the decline in number of contact centre jobs in the past year, including 648 jobs at Yellow Page directories.
"On the off shoring of work, our customers increasingly want to interact with us online," he said, "Forty per cent of customers transactions were completed online in 2013—compared to only 30 per cent in 2012—and this percentage will grow again this year."
"This means that our contact centre work is declining quickly and will continue to so."
Telstra boss said all of the company’s contact centres must be held to the same standards if customer service, privacy and security information.
Telstra’s chairwoman Catherine Livingston said many shareholders expressed concerns over job redundancies at the company.
"The size and nature of our workforce is re-balancing to reflect the fact that some parts of our business are reducing in size, while other parts are growing," she said," we are responding to the changing market structure, including the establishment of the NBN, and changing demand for our fixed line services."
Ms Livingston said while there were job losses at legacy businesses such as fixed line telephony while new jobs were created in new and growing jobs.
Telstra boss emphasised the importance of Asia to the future of the company’s growth strategy in a speech to shareholders.
"Asia’s rise is creating opportunities for us to expand our footprint across Asia, and help Australian, European and American companies make the leap into Asian markets," he said," that’s why we are making strategic investment across Asia, such as new data centres in Singapore and cloud-enabled nodes in Singapore and Hong Kong."
Ms Livingston defended remuneration packages of its executives including the chief executive David Thodey. "Our intention is to bring Mr Thodey's fixed remuneration up to median of ASX 20," she told shareholders.
Ms Livingston said the company had abandoned plans to recruit senior executives due to expensive price tags.
"In many cases, we don't pursue overseas recruitments because the remuneration requirement is too high. We don't feel its is justified for the roles we have here," she sad.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Telstra Incorporated is a global provider of advanced communications services to multinational corporations.
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013