Senior job cuts on horizon for ‘bloated’ global engineering firm

by Miklos Bolza25 Nov 2015
Warren East, the new chief executive of Rolls Royce, has announced future senior job cuts within a proposed £200 million (S$424 million) in annual cost savings.
 
Rolls Royce presently employs 54,000 staff around the world including about 2,000 senior managers.
 
In a presentation to investors held on Tuesday (24 November), East said the company was “bloated” with managers, committees and processes to the point where it was difficult to know precisely what was going on.
 
He spoke of “streamlining senior management” through self-help strategies and said the company was at a “turning point” of how it operated.
 
East spoke of an upcoming review of corporate operations, promising a simpler business that let engineers get on with their jobs.
 
While he did not go into details about the potential job cuts in specific countries such as Singapore, he did state that “large layers of cumbersome bureaucracy” needed to be removed.
 
Rolls Royce is currently cutting approximately 3,600 jobs with East saying more would be added to this number including a swathe of top managers.
 
“We are over-managed,” he told investors. “This is about improving the effectiveness of the operation; it’s not about reducing the number of engineers. We are an engineering company and the last thing I want today is less engineers. What I want to do is to make it easier for those engineers to do their jobs.”
 
Giving an example of the needless complexity of the organisation, East pointed out that Rolls Royce’s 27 key technologies were treated the same despite not requiring the same amount of management. These will then be condensed into about eight themes, he said, meaning they require fewer people and meetings to operate.
 
A spokesperson from Rolls Royce told HRD that no specific details could be released now about whether the Singapore office would be affected. However more information would be revealed in the company’s 2015 Full Year Results released in February next year.
 
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