Ford will be making cuts to its 70,000-strong white-collar workforce in a move it calls a “redesign” of its staff to be leaner, have fewer layers, and offer more decision-making power to employees, the company announced.
The number of jobs that will be axed is unknown at this point.
“A lot of the (reorganization) is about making different choices about strategy,” Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told NBC News, adding that the goal isn’t just to slash spending but to improve the “fitness” of the company.
However, a recent report by Morgan Stanley estimates “a global headcount reduction of approximately 12 percent,” or 24,000 of Ford’s 202,000 workers worldwide. “Such a magnitude of reduction is not without precedent in the auto industry,” analysts wrote in the investment note.
The decision is part of Ford’s $25.5 billion reorganization plan, which includes slashing $6 billion in improved capital efficiencies. Ford CEO Jim Hackett, who cut more than 12,000 jobs as head of office furniture maker Steelcase, had been expected to make cutbacks even sooner, according to some observers. Hackett took over from Ford veteran Mark Fields when he was ousted from the company in May 2017.
Ford has already warned that President Donald Trump’s auto tariffs have impacted the company to the tune of $1 billion, and the president’s trade policies threaten to play havoc with Ford’s ongoing reorganization, Shanks told NBC News.