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.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
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

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam