Nestle to cut 500 jobs as CEO Schneider targets home country

Targeted company: Nestle headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. After a busy year for activist investors targeting European companies such as Nestle SA, experts say firms are becoming more eager to address shareholder concerns before they escalate into public campaigns.

GENEVA: Nestle SA plans to cut as many as 500 jobs in its home market of Switzerland as Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider aims to boost profitability at the world’s largest food company.

The job cuts will be in computer-services positions over the coming 18 months, Nestle said in a statement Tuesday. The company will offer employees training to switch to other positions and accept voluntary departures.

Nestle has been under increased pressure to cut costs after activist investor Dan Loeb’s firm Third Point LLC invested about $3.5 billion in the company last year. 

Chief Financial Officer Francois-Xavier Roger has been accelerating the company’s five-year restructuring plan and has predicted 700 million francs ($706 million) of reorganization costs this year. The company had 323,000 employees worldwide in 2017, ranking sixth among European employers.

Nestle also said that Nespresso will offer jobs to 80 employees affected by a reorganization involving setting up centers in Spain and Portugal for e-commerce and supply chain services. - Bloomberg

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