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ABB to slash 'white-collar' jobs to cut costs

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ABB to slash 'white-collar' jobs to cut costs
ABB headquarters in Zurich. Photo: ABB
10:48 CEST+02:00
Swiss-based engineering giant ABB is slashing office jobs to cut spending by $1 billion by the end of 2017 as part of a plan announced on Wednesday.

The power and automation technologies company did not disclose how many jobs would be cut through what it called “white-collar productivity savings”.

The measure was included in the second stage of a restructuring plan which aims to free up $2 billion in cash and to enable the company to “become more active in value-creating acquisitions”.

The company is reducing the number of its divisions from five to four,  combining power and automation into a single unit dedicated to power grids.

"The actions we are announcing today will deliver additional value in a more focused way to customers through our unique power and automation offering,” CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said in a statement.

“At the same time, we will become leaner, faster and more agile,” Spiesshofer said.

“This will drive the shift of our centre of gravity towards higher growth, greater competitiveness and lower risk,” he said.

“With these actions, we address the rapidly changing market conditions and face the increased uncertainty in the world.”

ABB said it was targeting annual revenue growth of three to six percent, lower than earlier targets but “aligned to new market realities”.

The company said it would continue a share buyback program as part of its strategy.

Spiesshofer announced the first phase of restructuring a year ago, stressing a plan to grow the company's business through acquisitions and partnerships. 

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