Headcount development

The Group’s headcount fell by 0.5 percent compared with the end of the prior year. Development across the segments was varied. The number of employees in our Germany operating segment declined by 2.3 percent as a result of efficiency enhancement measures, fewer hires in the operating units, and the take-up of socially responsible instruments. The total number of employees in our United States operating segment increased by 2.4 percent at December 31, 2017 compared to December 31, 2016, due to an increase in customer support and network employees, partially offset by a decrease in customer acquisition employees. In our Europe operating segment, the workforce grew by 1.3 percent year-on-year, partly due to the extra employees needed at our national company in Poland to staff the new branches opened there. The headcount in our Systems Solutions operating segment increased by 1.2 percent, largely as a result of the integration of Telekom Security employees. In our Group Development operating segment, the number of employees declined by 23.5 percent, primarily as a result of the deconsolidation of Strato as of March 31, 2017. The headcount in the Group Headquarters & Group Services segment was down 4.7 percent compared with the end of 2016, mainly due to the ongoing staff restructuring at Vivento and the Group-wide bundling of the Telekom Security unit under our Systems Solutions operating segment. By contrast, the number of employees in our new Technology and Innovation Board department increased.