Metro Group CEO seeks support from executives
Metro Group’s CEO Eckhard Cordes has called on about 650 executives this week to support the company’s extensive restructuring plans, Lebensmittel Zeitung reported. Cordes tried to convince them that the radical change is necessary, rather than supplying the details. In January this year, the company announced a comprehensive efficiency and value-enhancing programme, called 'Shape 2012'. It aims to ensure profitable growth in the long term, increasing customer focus and will make the company more transparent, less complex and more efficiently managed. The credo of the programme is: “As decentralised as possible, as centrally as necessary.”
Cordes praised staff but emphasised at the same time that the organisational structures are wrong as they are too complex and expensive. Functions like buying and logistics that have previously been conducted in a cross-divisional manner will become the responsibility of the sales divisions. The potential for profit increases through the programme by 2012 and beyond is EUR1.5 billion (USD2.0 billion). However, the restructuring programme is combined with a reduction of personnel. It is said that the company will reduce 15,000 jobs worldwide, largely through "natural fluctuation". Cordes said concrete personnel decisions will be announced in summer 2009. For example, he said that hypermarket division Real, is pioneering the restructuring process that is being extended across the entire company. However, he also said that the current economic crisis and competition will be huge challenges for the Metro Group, adding that "the time of the stoppage, the safeguarding of unilateral interests and the postponement of unpleasant decisions is definitely over".
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