Rolls-Royce to axe 4,600 jobs, most of them in UK

LONDON • Rolls-Royce is to cut 4,600 jobs over two years in the latest attempt by its boss Warren East to reduce costs and complexity and make Britain's best-known engineering company more profitable and dynamic.

Mr East, a soft-spoken former tech boss, has overhauled the 134-year-old Rolls-Royce since he took charge in 2015 but the new cuts come as the group grapples with an aero-engine problem that has grounded planes and angered clients.

Yesterday's announcement, which Mr East said is not linked to the Trent 1000 engine issue, marks the biggest round of job cuts since the company had to retrench during the aviation crisis that followed the Sept 11 attacks in the United States in 2001.

The plan will remove 10 per cent of the workforce, targeting duplication in corporate, administration and management roles to try to save £400 million (S$714 million) a year by 2020.

Two-thirds of the job cuts will fall in Britain. Rolls-Royce is the biggest employer in the city of Derby, central England, with 15,700 at its headquarters.

Mr East told reporters: "We are poised to become the world leader in large aircraft engines. But we want to make the business as world-class as our engineering and technology.

"We have to... reduce the size of our corporate centre, removing complexity and duplication that makes us too slow, uncompetitive and too expensive."

The cuts will not affect its engineers, the firm said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2018, with the headline 'Rolls-Royce to axe 4,600 jobs, most of them in UK'. Print Edition | Subscribe