German engineering giant Siemens AG said Friday that it will cut nearly 8,000 jobs worldwide as part of a global restructuring program that is expected to save the company about one billion euros ($1.15 billion) in operating costs. The company’s decision comes as it attempts to simplify regional operations and trim its divisions from 16 to nine, Deutsche Welle reported, citing a company statement.
Joe Kaeser, Siemens’ CEO, had announced the plan to streamline businesses and divisions in May 2014, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). However, last month, the company declared a 25 percent drop in net profit for the first quarter, citing sluggish oil prices as the main factor. The company currently employees over 300,000 people, about 115,000 of whom are based in Germany.
“In a drive to streamline administrative and overhead functions, about 7,800 jobs are to be cut worldwide, including some 3,300 in Germany," the company said, in a statement, according to AFP, adding: "The savings achieved will be invested in innovation, productivity and growth initiatives, a considerable part of which will be in Germany."
Last month’s results showed that the company’s flagship health care and energy generation units suffered the worst losses across divisions, though Kaeser said that most divisions performed according to expectations, Deutsche Welle reported. He also said that he intended to increase profit per share by at least 15 percent.
In September 2013, Kaeser had announced 15,000 job cuts in order to save €6 billion ($8.11 billion). In 2011, the company, under Peter Löscher, had announced it would lay off 17,000 people.
In November, Siemens ADR agreed to sell off its hearing-aid business to European private equity firm EQT Partners and Germany's Strüngmann family for 2.15 billion euros ($2.69 billion). In September, the company announced it would buy U.S. oil-field equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group Inc for $7.6 billion to improve its oil and gas business in North America.
In May, Siemens said it would buy the energy business of Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc for $1.3 billion. However, analysts and experts are now questioning the move as oil prices have fallen to near record-lows, Deutche Welle reported. In Friday trading, the company's stock was down 0.71 percent.