Bell Canada slashes 2,500 jobs to cut costs

Bell Canada will cut 2,500 jobs, or 6% of its work force as the firm streamlines management to lower operating costs just ahead of its impending €22 billion (US$35 billion) takeover by a private equity group, an Associated Press report said.

The changes include a 30% reduction in executive jobs revealed earlier this month and about 15% of management. The cuts will help save about C$300 million (€186.7 million, US$294 million) in annual costs, said George Cope, president and new CEO of Bell Canada and parent BCE.

After months of planning, the company is cutting the hierarchy from 11 layers to a maximum of eight.

Non-management front-line service positions are not affected, the company said.

The size of the cuts was slightly larger than the 2,000 expected, but the move was supported by analysts and industry observers.

Carmi Levy, an industry analyst at AR Communications, sees thousands more facing pink slips, including some front-line workers. He said Bell has a more bloated employment hierarchy than traditional rivals such as Telus and Rogers Communications. It also faces new wireless competitors who will survive on relatively skeletal teams, he said.