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Siemens to axe about 11,600 jobs

Siemens

German industrial giant Siemens plans to eliminate about 11,600 jobs around the world as part of a major restructuring, a company spokesman told AFP on Friday.

“These jobs will be cut,” the spokesman said, confirming remarks made by chief executive Joe Kaeser to a conference of investors and analysts in New York on Thursday.

The spokesman said some staff may be redeployed in company “divisions that will be reinforced,” without providing further details.

“It is not yet clear how many people will be recommended for other positions,” he said, adding that the company was in talks with the works council on the restructuring.

Some 7,600 positions will be axed as part of a company overhaul announced by Kaeser on May 7 in which 16 divisions will be consolidated into nine and certain levels of hierarchy will be eliminated, the spokesman said.

Another 4,000 jobs will be cut as part of a regrouping of regional activities.

Kaeser aims to slash annual costs for the group by one billion euros ($1.4 billion) per year from 2016.

The job cuts come in addition to 15,000 already slashed under a cost-cutting plan.

Siemens said in early May that it expected its markets “to remain challenging in fiscal 2014” with a sustainable recovery not expected until late in the fiscal year.

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Kaeser, who was previously chief financial officer at Siemens which also manufactures wind turbines, trains and medical equipment, has said he wants to renew the focus on the company’s energy activities under a plan called Vision 2020.

Siemens is currently considering whether to challenge General Electric in its $17-billion bid to take over part of France’s Alstom.

But Siemens announced its layoffs just as GE upped the ante by pledging to create 1,000 jobs in France, where the embattled government has passed a new law that would allow it to veto unwanted foreign takeovers of major French companies.

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