FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) will concentrate its German research at a single site and shift towards employing more contractors to promote innovation as part of a previously announced restructuring, its chief executive told German media.
“We can’t continue to only work with life-long employees,” Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders told German “Muenchner Merkur” on Wednesday, adding that a shift towards more limited, project-based contracts would take place.
Airbus will cut a net total of 934 jobs as part of strategies outlined in September for an internal merger with its planemaking arm. The restructuring is part of a plan to allow Airbus to move away from its complex corporate roots as it prepares for tougher expected competition.
The plan also includes a move of its headquarters from Paris and Munich to Toulouse in southern France.
Enders, a German who took the helm of Airbus Group in 2012, told the “Muenchener Merkur” its German site Ottobrunn, near Munich, will become the sole research centre in Germany, where it currently operates a total of 29 sites and employs around 48,500 people.
Enders said even some research positions in France will be relocated to Ottobrunn, currently the group’s headquarters of its Defence and Space unit.
The Toulouse site will be the group’s only other research site following the changes, which will take effect in January.
Enders said he could not rule out forced redundancies as part of the Ottobrunn overhaul, but didn’t provide further details as to how many jobs might be affected and whether they would be in addition to the announced cuts.
Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Adrian Croft