August 30, 2018 / 9:33 AM / 2 months ago

Nestle to cut fewer tech workers in Switzerland

A view of the Nestle Development Center in Solon, Ohio, U.S., April 24, 2018. Picture taken April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

ZURICH (Reuters) - Nestle (NESN.S) has finalised plans for reorganising its Swiss information technology (IT) setup, the food and beverage giant said on Thursday, reducing the number of tech worker jobs it will cut at its home base.

In May, Nestle said it planned to eliminate up to 500 information technology jobs in Switzerland as it shifts work to an existing tech hub in Spain and other locations.

Following consultations, the company has now determined that it will keep around 150 IT employees in Switzerland, compared to the 100 originally announced in May, and will extend the reorganisation plan into the second half of 2020.

“Nestle understands this is a difficult time for its employees and is fully committed to mitigate the social impact of the reorganisation, which will now be implemented,” the group said in a statement. “The company and the employees representatives are currently negotiating a social plan.”

These efforts include limiting layoffs through early retirements, as well as providing Swiss employees the opportunity to apply to 200 open spots in Barcelona and Milan, and providing them with outplacement support.

“Nestle is in ongoing discussions with third parties and partners, who have expressed an interest in possibly recruiting its IT employees,” the Vevey-based group added.

Under pressure from activist shareholder Daniel Loeb to increase investor returns, Nestle has been keeping a close eye on costs.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields

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