Swan plans big cull at WH Smith HQ
Sunday 25 January 2004
WH Smith is considering axing hundreds of head office jobs as part of a radical plan to reverse its fortunes.
A small team of executives led by chief executive Kate Swann is looking at ways of stripping costs out of the business. A well-placed source said the team, which includes John Warren, the finance director, and Simon Marinker, who runs the company's smaller stores, is considering "doing a Boots". The high street chemist this month announced 900 head office staff would be made redundant.
However, WH Smith has less scope than Boots for deep cuts as its head office team in London and Swindon is only 1,200-strong.
Ms Swann and her team have announced an internal freeze on new spending, and the number of external consultants has been reduced. A WH Smith spokeswoman said: "As part of the operational review there is a freeze on everything. Job cuts cannot be ruled out - the head office is where we are looking."
The news may not save the skin of the company chairman, Richard Handover, who is blamed for its lack of focus. At least two groups of institutional investors have raised the subject of his resignation with the WH Smith non-executive directors John Barton and Michael Orr.
The issue could flare up at the company's annual meeting on Thursday. The National Association of Pension Funds is advising members to vote against Ms Swann's pay package of a £475,000 salary plus£720,000 in cash and shares for simply staying at the retailer.
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...