More layoffs in Qatar as Ooredoo Group confirms 100 jobs to go

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Omar Chatriwala

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In the latest round of layoffs to affect Qatar, global telecoms provider Ooredoo Group has confirmed it is cutting around 100 local jobs as part of a corporate review to “optimize” its operations.

The group, which is headquartered in Doha, employs more than 10,000 staff world-wide and has operations in Algeria, Kuwait, Oman and several other countries. The latest cuts amount to around 1 percent of its global workforce, a spokesperson said in a statement to Doha News.

All the jobs affected are based in Qatar, however no Qatari nationals would be affected in this round of layoffs, the spokesperson said.

The announcement follows a management shakeup in November when Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani became chief executive, replacing Nasser Mohammed Marafih, who had held the title for nine years.

The reorganization also led to other changes in the company’s senior leadership team. Waleed Mohamed Al-Sayed was appointed deputy group CEO as well as the chief executive of Ooredoo Qatar. Meanwhile, Yousuf Abdulla Al Kubaisi filled Al-Sayed’s old position as Ooredoo Qatar’s chief operations officer.

This reshuffling came in the wake of several disappointing financial quarters.

Corporate review

Before deciding on layoffs, an Ooredoo spokesperson said the company conducted a “review of the organization and strategy” following the appointment of the new management team, which was described as “normal practice.”

“Following the review, we have recognized a number of opportunities to increase synergies across the Group and optimize our operations.

This will involve the phasing out of certain business functions at a Group level, particularly those that were created for the launch of the Ooredoo brand in 2013 and related support activities,” the statement said.

Employees affected will be given the chance to apply for other positions within the group as well as the organization’s local operations.

“As an ongoing review, we are rebalancing our skill sets and resources within the Group and local operating companies to better serve our customers and deliver better returns for our shareholders,” the organization added.

Group profits flat

The company’s confirmation of layoffs emerged as Ooredoo released its 2015 financial results this week.

Ooredoo Qatar HQ

Lesley Walker / Doha News

Ooredoo Qatar HQ

Within Qatar, the telecom firm posted double-digit gains in customers, revenues and earnings. Its net profit was QR2.14 billion last year, up 11 percent over 2014.

But Ooredoo could not replicate that strong performance outside of its home market. The company’s net profit attributable to shareholders was flat at QR2.12 billion, down 1 percent from 2014.

The company said its results were hurt by the security situation in Iraq as well as adverse currency movements in Indonesia, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Have you been affected by the layoffs? Thoughts?

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