The food multinational Nestlé is rebuilding its global computer science and is cutting jobs in Switzerland.
In the future, the Group wants to make better use of its technology center in Barcelona and other locations. The reorganization could lead in this country according to the information of the group to the reduction of up to 500 places. At Nespresso there is an additional shift of 80 jobs to other countries.
The job cuts in IT should be completed within 18 months, as Nestlé announced on Tuesday in a statement. Of these, around 320 jobs are affected at the Group headquarters in Vevey, the others are in Lausanne and the surrounding area, as a Nestlé spokesman spelled out for AWP demand.
With this step, Nestlé wants to accelerate the digital transformation in the company and benefit from innovations in computer science. The aim is to benefit from the expertise in Barcelona in the context of the current rapid developments in computer science in areas such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality or even e-commerce, the spokesman said. At the same time, the measures are intended to increase the operational efficiency of Nestlé. The production sites of Nestlé in Switzerland are not affected by the measures.
The coffee capsule subsidiary Nespresso for its part plans specialized centers in Spain and Portugal. It aims to leverage existing Nestlé facilities for online commerce and supply chains. In Italy, Nespresso also wants to set up a “competence center” for the management of the boutiques. Nespresso offers jobs in these centers to all 80 affected employees who are also based in Lausanne and the surrounding area.
Layoffs are not excluded
For the employees concerned now begins a consultation phase. They would of course have access to the internal job market of the Nestlé group and new vacancies would be advertised in Barcelona, ??the Nestlé spokesman said. The Group also offers opportunities for early retirement and advice on job search.
It is still too early to talk about a number of layoffs, the spokesman said. “We can not rule out dismissals,” he confirmed. On the part of the Executive Committee, global HR chief Peter Vogt cited the company as saying that the Group would exhaust all opportunities to provide support and mitigate the impact. Nestlé “stay connected to the home base of Switzerland”.
Measures within the scope of group-wide targets
As Nestlé points out in the statement, the number of employees in Switzerland increased from 6,700 to 10,100 between 2013 and 2017. The company has invested heavily in Germany. At present it strengthens the central research and development in Lausanne. In 2018, the Group plans to invest around CHF 300 million in Switzerland.
Overall, the restructuring would not be the savings in the foreground, said the spokesman. “It’s about the benefits and access to expertise.” The measures are initially intended to cause restructuring costs but also to lead to savings. According to Nestlé figures, they should be seen as part of the Group-wide targets announced last autumn on an Investor Day. At that time, CFO François-Xavier Roger had announced savings of between CHF 2 and 2.5 billion for the Group by 2020.