German engineering and technology giant Siemens said today it plans to slash 15,000 positions worldwide by late next year as part of a cost cutting drive, including 5,000 in its home country.
The company aimed for many voluntary redundancies and to redeploy some staff within the vast conglomerate, which makes products from gas turbines to rail equipment to health care goods.
“The ongoing and planned workforce adjustments in the context of Siemens 2014 are about 15,000 positions worldwide, of which about 5,000 are in Germany,” the Munich-based company said in a statement.
The ongoing “Siemens 2014” drive in total aims to save more than €6 billion ($8.1 billion).
The company in July appointed Joe Kaeser as the new chief executive, replacing ousted Peter Loescher, days after Siemens had announced its second profit warning in two months.
When Kaeser took over at the helm of Siemens, he stressed that the company was “certainly not in crisis, nor is it in need of major restructuring”.
“However we’ve been too preoccupied with ourselves lately and have lost some of our profit momentum vis-a-vis our competitors,” he said in late July, vowing to get Siemens “back on an even keel”.
Of the job cuts in Germany, 2,000 positions will be slashed in the company’s industry division, 1,400 in energy, 1,400 in infrastructure & cities and 200 in the corporate division, the spokesman said.
The steps had been “discussed with all those concerned”, with about half the redundancies to take effect in 2013 and the rest by the end of 2014, he said.
Siemens said the cost-cutting plans were not new, just the number of layoffs which resulted from them, and that the job losses had been discussed with workers’ representatives.
“We are sticking to the rule: first we speak with the employees, then we go public,” the company said in its statement.
Earlier today, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper had quoted analysts as expecting about 10,000 job cuts next year. Siemens has about 3,70,000 employees worldwide, including 1,19,000 in Germany.