GSMA to make 1,000 staff redundant, as MWC cancellation begins to bite

The group has been hit hard by the cancellation of its flagship events in Barcelona, Shanghai and LA this year
MWC2020, GSMA, Telecoms, Redundancies

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The mobile telecoms industry’s trade body, the GSMA, has confirmed that it will reduce its workforce by around 20 per cent, cutting close to 1,000 jobs in the process.

The GSMA was forced to cancel its flagship event, Mobile World Congress, in February this year, as the world found itself in the grips of the beginning of the global Covid 19 pandemic. The annual event accounts for up to 80 per cent of the GSMA’s revenue each year, and with the spin off events in Shanghai and LA also being cancelled this year, the company took a serious financial hit in 2020.

With a vaccine potentially years away, it seems unlikely that the global conference and exhibition sectors will be returning to business as usual any time soon.  

“We think this is at least a three-year recovery scenario,” Stephanie Lynch-Habib, the group’s chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg in an interview.

“We’re going through an extremely tough situation and it’s not because anyone was doing a bad job,” she said. “We’re really empathetic but it was needed to ensure the health of the GSMA and how it serves the industry.”

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