Optus Cuts 200 Jobs As Virgin Brand Goes

Optus to slash hundreds of jobs across the country as it phases out Virgin Mobile.

What you need to know
  • The telco will cut about 200 jobs and close 36 Virgin Mobile stores
  • Virgin Mobile will be phased out over the next two years
  • The company may offer Virgin Mobile employees positions at Optus

Optus is slashing about 200 jobs nationwide as it pulls the plug on its Virgin Mobile brand.

The telco says it will phase out the brand, which it has owned or co-owned for 18 years, over the next two years.

It is understood the telco will close about 36 Virgin Mobile stores and cut about 200 positions, and aim to move all Virgin Mobile customers onto Optus.

Optus is believed to have been in talks with affected retail and corporate staff on Wednesday, and it is understood the telco is looking at whether some staff can be reassigned to Optus stores.

"For Virgin Mobile employees, our policy is always to talk to those who may be impacted by these changes first," an Optus spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"Any potential options for redeployment within the wider Optus business will be discussed with affected individuals at that time."

The company said Virgin Mobile customers will be contacted by Optus in coming days about the changes and their options.

Virgin Mobile Australia was established as a 50-50 joint venture between Optus and Virgin Mobile UK in 2000, before Virgin Mobile UK increased its stake to just under 75 percent in 2002.

Optus, which was bought by Singapore Telecommunications in 2001, then purchased its partner's stake in 2006 for $30 million, in a 15-year deal that allowed Optus to market a wider range of products under the brand, including fixed line and internet.

Meanwhile, Optus has also been hit with a $1.5 million fine on Wednesday, after pressuring customers to move to the national broadband network sooner than required and misleading some of them about NBN service options.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said Optus had benefited by about $750,000 as a result of the conduct.