Job cuts: General Electric to cut 4,500 jobs in Europe, says source

The cuts, which are linked to businesses GE bought from France’s Alstom in 2015, will affect employees in Switzerland, Germany and Britain, said French newspaper Les Echos, which first reported the news on Tuesday.

A labour union source confirmed the layoff numbers to Reuters on Wednesday and said an official announcement was expected as early as Thursday. General Electric Co plans to cut 4,500 jobs in Europe, the first numbers to emerge on layoffs from the U.S. industrial conglomerate since it outlined plans to restructure and shed units last month.

Last month, General Electric CEO John Flannery outlined plans to reduce the manufacturing footprint of GE’s power business to respond to a sharp fall in demand for fossil fuel power equipment. GE did not specify how many jobs would be cut or where.

The reported layoffs are part of GE Power’s plan to integrate GE’s energy connections and power businesses, seeking to save $1 billion in costs next year and another $500 million in 2019, William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann said.

GE aims to reduce overhead costs by $1 billion this year and $2 billion in 2018 as Flannery, who took the top job in August, prepares to refocus the 125-year-old conglomerate toward aviation, healthcare and power.

GE has already shed 25 percent of its corporate staff or some 1,500 jobs around the world. Flannery’s plans include hiving off at least $20 billion of assets through sales, spin-offs or other means and retaining only business that offers growth, a leading market position and a large installed base.

“Renewables will not have any reductions because the world is rapidly shifting from fossil to renewables as the cost of temporarily storing power becomes more affordable at $100/Kw for power packs,” Heymann added, referring to GE’s renewable energy business.

GE shares have fallen about 44 percent since the start of the year. The stock is the year’s worst performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Source: Economic Times

Vaibhav Jain

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