Siemens to axe 15,000 staff: report

Siemens is planning to give 15,000 employees the boot as part of a restructuring program to cut costs.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Siemens will hand pink slips to 15,000 staff over the next year as part of restructuring efforts aimed to improve the firm's balance sheet and reduce operational costs. 


The engineering giant said Sunday that 15,000 employees from both its German headquarters and overseas could lose thier positions. According to Reuters, an unidentified spokesman for Siemens said a third of the jobs due to be cut will come from Germany, and 10,000 will be from overseas branches.

Restructuring has been under recent discussion by the company, as Siemens said it will not reach profit targets set for 2013. The company admitted earlier this year that achieving an overall profit margin of 12 percent by 2014's fiscal year is unlikely, due to "lower market expectations."

Attempts to steer the firm back to profitability have included naming Joe Kaeser as its new chief executive, and allowing Ralf Thomas to take over as its chief financial officer. However, the 6 billion euro ($8.1 billion) restructuring plans were drawn up by former, ousted CEO Peter Loescher late last year.

Loescher was removed from his post in July following poor financial results this year. The former CEO was with Siemens for six years, before poor global demand for the firm's products resulted in German exports slipping to the lowest rate recorded since May 2009. A supervisory committee then voted in favor of his early departure.

According to the spokesman, Europe's biggest engineering firm and unions have reached an agreement over approximately half of the job cuts, and a deal is expected to be reached concerning the remainder. The firm does not plan on enforcing redundancies, and instead will ask employees to accept attrition and voluntary severance deals.

Siemens currently accounts for roughly 370,000 workers globally.

In August, Nokia Siemens Networks announced that Siemens sold its 50 percent stake in the venture, worth €1.7 billion ($2.2bn). While chief executive Rajeev Suri will stay on as the company's chief and chairman, up to 8,500 jobs could be cut by the end of 2014.

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