Nestlé said it could eliminate up to 500 information technology (IT) positions in Switzerland over the next 18 months as it shifts work to other sites in Spain, Portugal and Italy.
The company aims to accelerate its digital transformation and to respond more quickly to fast-paced technological changes. It hopes the proposed measures will also enhance its operational effectiveness.
The move comes days after Nestlé announced it will combine its two research units in order to strengthen its R&D capabilities and accelerate product innovation. The Nestlé Research Center and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences will be merged into a new organisation called Nestlé Research, based in Laussane, Switzerland.
In line with the proposed IT changes, Nespresso is planning to establish dedicated operational centres in Spain and Portugal to benefit from existing Nestlé hubs in the areas of e-commerce and supply chain, and also intends to create a centre of excellence for boutique operations in Italy.
The plans will now be subject to a period of consultation with the concerned employees, who will be invited to share their comments and feedback. Nestlé said it will work with its employees to draw up detailed social plans to mitigate the impact of the reorganisation. Assistance may include job offers from within Nestlé, early retirement or outplacement support.
These plans do not affect any of the company’s production sites in Switzerland.
Nestlé group head of human resources Peter Vogt said: “We understand that this is a difficult time for our employees. Nestlé is committed to treating everyone with respect and appreciation. We will explore all possible options to provide support and to mitigate the impact on our colleagues.
“Nestlé remains fully committed to its home base in Switzerland. The relationship between Nestlé and Switzerland is mutually beneficial and the company will continue to invest in the country.”
The company highlighted that the number of Nestlé employees in Switzerland rose from around 6,700 in 2003 to over 10,100 in 2017.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Nestlé would transfer its Chocolate Centre of Excellence in Switzerland to the UK as the company aims to “improve the speed and agility of global innovation”.
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