P&G axe hangs over UK jobs

THOUSANDS OF UK jobs were at risk last night as Procter and Gamble, the US consumer products giant, prepared to wield the axe as part of a pounds 1.5bn cost-cutting plan.

Procter and Gamble is due to announce the results of its restructuring programme next week and analysts fear that its UK operations, which employ 6,000 staff, could bear the brunt of the cutbacks.

The UK is one of P&G's key production sites outside the US, employing about a fifth of its entire European workforce. Last week P&G axed 380 jobs in Wakefield.

Analysts expect that the lion's share of the cuts will take place outside the US and say the UK, which has not been chosen as the "global business unit" headquarters, is vulnerable to considerable job losses.

P&G has experienced sluggish growth in several key markets and is in the throes of a reorganisation called Organisation 2005.

Eric Jonnaert, P&G's European spokesperson, confirmed that the group will be holding an analysts' meeting next Wednesday to discuss the first fruits of the restructuring, led by Durk Jager, the new chief executive.

According to reports in the US yesterday, the Cincinnati-based company will cut thousands of jobs and close several underperforming plants, including several abroad.

Mr Jager, a Dutch executive with plenty of experience in Europe and Asia, has pronounced himself unhappy with the company's pipeline of new products, its global structure, and the tendency for corporate thinking to get stuck in a rut.

The new plan, developed over the past year, will involve reorganising the company into seven product divisions, known as global business units rather than geographical units.

Mr Jonnaert confirmed that Brussels would be the headquarters for the fabric and homecare division, which produces leading brands such as Ariel and Fairly Liquid.

Mr Jonnaert said: "This is a major reorganisation in the company. We need to streamline the organisation and give it more focus to compete in a global market."

The restructuring is expected to involve charges of $2-3bn and is in keeping with Mr Jager's reputation for cost-cutting.

He won his spurs by reshaping the company's operations in Japan in the 1980s.

P&G has plants all over the world, and a global workforce of 110,000. It produces leading brands such as Pampers, Tide and Crest toothpaste.

The aim is to sharpen the company's ability to turn new research into products that command market share globally in the shortest possible time.

P&G has been under pressure from rivals such as Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch company chaired by Niall Fitzgerald.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific