Siemens – the German engineering firm that makes everything from trains to turbines – says it is cutting 7,800 jobs to streamline management and speed up decision-making, looking for one billion euros in savings by the end of next year.
The layoffs were expected as part of an overhaul which Siemens hopes will let it catch up with more profitable rivals such as General Electric and Switzerland’s ABB.
The cuts – to be completed within two years – represent around two percent of the total workforce of 343,000. Germany, where Siemens has around a third of its employees, will see 3,300 posts go.
But Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst with IG, notes Siemens is not actually getting smaller: “At the same time as these job cuts are being announced, the new employment figures that have come in over the last 12 months for this company do total round about 11,000. So it is pretty much a status quo being maintained. If anything the net headcount has actually increased.”
The man behind the overhaul, Chief Executive Joe Kaeser, says it is now pretty much completed.
Since he took over in a boardroom coup in 2013 Kaeser has refocused Siemens on generation and supply of energy with mixed results.
The company has been struggling to revive profits, even as industrial output and orders have risen in Germany.
Siemens said it would reinvest the billion euros of productivity gains in the growth areas of supplying electricity for industrial projects, automation and digitalisation, 800 million euros of which will be split evenly between sales operations and research and development. The rest will be invested in fixed assets.