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Australian telecom giant slashes 8,000 jobs

Canberra: Australia's biggest telecom operator Telstra is cutting 8,000 jobs in a dramatic bid to bring down costs, the company announced on Wednesday.

Telstra said in a statement that it will slash employee and contractor roles as part of plans to reduce costs by A$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion) by 2022, reports CNN.

It will also sell off assets to pare down debt.

The company, which has 32,000 employees, said one in four executive and middle management jobs will be eliminated over the next three years.

Telstra, Australia's former telecommunications monopoly, is also planning to split its infrastructure operations, which include data centres and broadband cables, into a separate unit and will drastically slim down the number of products it offers customers.

"The rate and pace of change in our industry is increasingly driven by technological innovation and competition," CNN quoted CEO Andrew Penn as saying.

"In this environment, traditional companies that do not respond are most at risk."

Telstra's stock fell 5 per cent in Wednesday morning trading.

The company's shares have lost more than half of their market value over the past three years.

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