Happy Holidays: GE Plans to Cut 4,500 Jobs in Europe

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French media company Les Echos reports that General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) plans to cut 4,500 jobs in Europe, another brutal step as management tries to turn around the floundering company. It is not the first wave of layoffs at the conglomerate, and it will not be the last.

The editors of the paper wrote (via Google Translate):

The American industrialist presented a project in European Works Council covering 4,500 positions. France would be spared.

The concrete version of the austerity package announced by the new CEO of General Electric (GE) John Flannery is under way. According to a union source, the US group has presented a project of 4,500 job cuts in Europe, in the sole scope of Alstom’s Energy business, acquired at the end of 2015 by the manufacturer. The staff representatives met on Monday and Tuesday in the European Works Council (IRS).

Not a perfect translation, but English-speaking people should catch the meaning.

One reason GE will continue to “rightsize” and layoff thousands is the plan by new CEO Flannery to correct the damaging course set by former CEO Jeff Immelt, which happened over a period that spanned more than a decade. Flannery told investors that he planned to focus on only three businesses: health care, aviation and power generation. He will sell, dump or close most of the balance of GE, one of the largest changes in the company’s century-long existence.

Holiday layoffs are particularly terrible this year. Yesterday, 24/7 Wall St. gave a tally of companies that have cut jobs:

Large companies do not appear to care whether they destroy the holidays for some of their workers. Pre-Christmas layoffs seem to be rampant this year.

Krispy Kreme will dump an unspecified number of people. According to the Winston-Salem Journal:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. employees could learn this week whether they will be part of the company’s increased presence in Charlotte, stay here or potentially be out of work.

Employees will be given until Dec. 13 to decide whether to accept the transfer, according to current and former employees.

More than one media company will let people go. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) will cut 150 jobs at ESPN as its viewership falls. BuzzFeed will eliminate 100 jobs. LA Weekly cut a large percentage of its staff. The Denver Post also will reduce staff, which has become a normal part of trying to save the shrinking print newspaper business across the entire industry.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) continues a brutal restructuring under management who have vowed to turn the company around. These include people at its power and digital businesses. Several people in top management have been pushed out. Presumably these most senior people have better severance packages than the rest of the GE refugees.

Autodesk Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ADSK) stock is down because of poor earnings. It will cut 13% of its workers to help the bottom line. That is 1,150 employees, one of the largest layoffs of the past several weeks.

The Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) merger with Brocade has triggered job cuts, which is “normal” when companies marry in part because of “synergies.” Overlapping functions mean some people become “redundant.” Happy holidays to a number of these redundant people.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC) told its Detroit Medical Center management to let 150 people go. Tenet has announced it will “downsize” a total of 1,300 people, although it has not specified when all of them will go.

The list of companies that are firing people includes more than those mentioned here.

Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and a joyous Kwanzaa. Maybe there will be new jobs in 2018 for those laid off this year.