Shaw Communications announced that 3,300 of its employees or about one quarter of its total workforce have accepted a buyout offer.
Shaw is a Canadian telecommunications company providing telephone, Internet, television and mobile services backed by a fibre optic network. It is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. It provides most services in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia but has smaller systems in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and even northern Ontario. However it also provides mobile service in southern Ontario, BC and Alberta through Freedom Mobile.
In all, Shaw has about 15,000 employees
Numbers leaving far above estimates
The number leaving was far above the company estimate of just 650. The company had previously announced that it intended a transformation of its business over several years.
Those who bought out will leave the company over an 18 month period. Among those leaving will be the chief financial officer Vito Culmone who will be leaving on May 4. He will be replaced by Trevor English who has been with the company two decades.
Shaw had previously estimated that only 10 percent of 6,500 eligible employees would accept the buyout after they were announced two weeks ago.
Company expects operations to continue normally
However, president of Shaw, Jay Mehr said that the numbers still are within scenarios the company had considered. He said he expected the company could continue to operate normally and that there would be no impact on customers' experience.
Mehr claimed that the departures would be managed in an orderly fashion. Most of the departures are in areas where Shaw feels it can optimize its services through the use of new technology and develop a more efficient delivery system.
Costs of the restructuring
Shaw will incur a one time $450 million restructuring charge in the second quarter of this year, mostly related to severance costs. The payments will be spread out over 18 months and will start this April.
Mehr said: “We made the difficult but necessary decision to modernize our wireline and satellite businesses by offering a generous package to those people who helped us build Shaw and chose not to join us in this transformative period of growth. We thank all our employees for the contributions they have made to this organization and we thank each of them for their dedication to our customers.”
Mehr also said: “Shaw has built decades of success by being a company that adapts well and shapes its future. We determine how we can improve, choose a path, and act on it. We are making the necessary changes to better serve our customers through a lean, integrated and more agile workforce..."