From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Optus memo: why 750 of you must go. Optus will sack some 750 staff in another restructure announced today. That news was buried in the Optus Consumer Australia chief executive Kevin Russell’s memo to staff:

Hi everyone

Since arriving in January, I have heard many of us talk about the need for change at Optus. I want to be very clear with everyone in terms of what change means and, therefore, provide context for the restructuring I believe we have to make.

The key changes I want to drive at Optus over the coming months are:

  • a stronger focus on the Optus brand, our customers and our mobile network;
  • a reduction in duplication of roles, unnecessary processes and governance;
  • less activity but with better and more complete execution; and
  • critically, a leaner and more sustainable cost structure.

There is nothing radical or creative about these changes. This is a return to the challenger DNA which is at the core of Optus’ success over the years.

With this background, we have already announced plans to collapse the Consumer and SMB Customer Facing Units into the new Optus Branded Customer, Marketing and Sales groups. We are also establishing a number of shared services to support the entire business including centralising Optus branded external and internal communications, finance, strategy and HR. These changes will support Consumer Australia, OB and our Digital business.

As we have reviewed the business structures, we have addressed the duplication of roles that existed across the business. We are also reviewing reporting requirements, sign off levels and other administration activity to align this to the needs of our customers. Overall a leaner, more focused organisation will improve our ability to compete in the market place.

There is a significant people impact resulting from these restructures across the whole of Optus. It is expected that approximately 750 roles will be made redundant over the coming months. These roles will come from back office, administration support and managerial roles. There will be minimal impact to front line roles that directly support our customers as a result of these changes.

I appreciate the uncertainty these changes will create across Optus and we will work quickly to speak to people who are impacted and provide all possible support. I would ask that you continue to support our customers and our people as we finalise these changes.



Melbourne mag publisher in liquidation. True: Melbourne-based specialist magazine publisher Nuance Multimedia has gone into liquidation. We confirmed the news with CEO Jim Clarke after your tip-offs; read the full story in our media briefs section.

HSU audit report: for your reading pleasure. As Fraud Squad detectives raided the Sydney headquarters of the Health Services Union’s East branch this morning, a copy of the report by Ian Temby QC and chartered accountant Dennis Robertson into the internal workings of the organisation — yet to be released by the HSU, despite Kathy Jackson’s threats to do so — has been doing the rounds. Read it for yourselves …

Big candidate for key federal seat. Who’s the high-profile entertainer preparing a rabble-rousing run for a key federal lower house seat? Stay tuned and we’ll tell you more when we can.

Newman finds savings … in papers. As part of the Queensland government’s desire to get the state “back on track” (whatever that means), we’re told the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has cancelled all of its newspaper subscriptions effective today. Its “in line with the government’s overall savings initiative”, apparently.

Rudd rumours just won’t go away. Meanwhile … “Rumour going around my company and a few others,” writes one Crikey reader, “is Kevin Rudd will resign prior to the budget, effectively halting supply. The rumour has it that Kevin will take a job with the UN.” We report, you decide.

US intelligence group found in Brisbane. Yesterday we reported on the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a shadow intelligence group that has been lured to Melbourne by the Victorian government. We said the company had an office in the Brisbane suburb of Cleveland — well a Crikey reader tracked it down for us. No word on what goes on behind the door …

Clive Palmer for PM. A sign of things to come? The campaign has already been started by one of our readers …

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