General Electric is cutting approximately 12,000 jobs in its power business as part of an effort to reduce overall structural costs by $3.5 billion in 2017 and 2018. The job cuts will affect both professional and production employees, most of them based outside the US. The job cuts represent approximately 18 percent of GE Power’s total workforce.
A third of the company's Swiss workforce--around 1400 employees--face layoffs, as well as 1100 employees in the UK.
The company has stated the actions were essential due to the decline in the power market worldwide. Traditional markets including gas and coal have softened.
“This decision was painful but necessary for GE Power to respond to the disruption in the power market, which is at GE Power driving significantly lower volumes in products and services,” said Russell Stokes. Stokes took over as President and Chief Executive Officer at GE Power in July of this year.
“At its core GE Power is a strong business,” Stokes continued. “We generate more than 30 percent of the world’s electricity and have equipped 90 percent of transmission utilities worldwide. Our backlog is $99 billion and we have a substantial global installed base. This plan will make us simpler and stronger so we can drive more value for our customers and investors.”