Verizon executives have sweetened the offer to outgoing IT workers that were notified late last month that their positions were being transferred to outsourcing firm Infosys. After initially telling those workers that they weren’t eligible for a severance package, Verizon is now giving them the option of taking an exit package or transferring to Infosys where they are guaranteed two years of comparable pay and benefits.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported Verizon’s about-face on the severance package, Verizon initially told the IT employees that they could accept the new job offers from Infosys with a one-year guarantee of similar pay and benefits or they could refuse and they would lose their 2018 bonus and the company’s promised share award that it is giving to all employees as part of the U.S. government’s tax overhaul. Verizon is expected to bring back $4 billion in overseas cash as part of the tax reform legislation.
The original deal was particularly painful to IT workers because just hours after they learned their jobs were being moved to Infosys, Verizon offered voluntary severance packages to about 44,000 employees. That offer included three weeks of pay for every year served at the company, up to 60 weeks.
A Verizon spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that the new offer to employees reflected the carrier’s final agreement with Infosys. In September, Verizon inked a $700 million deal with the India-based outsourcing firm to take over a large part of the service provider’s IT operations. The deal was structured so that Verizon employees that currently handle those jobs would become Infosys employees. Although Verizon wouldn’t say how many IT employees were impacted, various reports indicated it would be around 2,500 employees in the U.S. and overseas.
Verizon has IT workers in offices around the U.S., including Texas, New Jersey, Virginia, and Georgia. The company declined to give specifics about which IT jobs would be transferred to Infosys but the outsourcing firm’s website highlights new capabilities like artificial-intelligence powered business applications such as order management and contract analysis.
More Change Ahead?
Outsourcing the company’s IT operations and offering voluntary severance packages are probably not the only changes ahead for Verizon. CEO Hans Vestberg, who has only been on the job for a few months, is reportedly also contemplating changes to his existing management team.
According to a Bloomberg report, Vestberg is personally interviewing the company’s 300 management employees and it’s not expected that all will make the cut.
Of course, management changes are not particularly unexpected when a new CEO takes over. And Vestberg, unlike past Verizon leaders, is a relative newcomer to the company. He joined Verizon as CTO in April 2017. Prior to that he was the CEO of Ericsson.
One member of the management team likely to keep her current role is Rima Qureshi. She joined Verizon last November, and serves as the company’s EVP and chief strategy officer. Qureshi previously worked closely with Vestberg as a member of Ericsson’s senior management team.