GE Says German Workforce to Decline by a Third in Restructuring

(Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co.’s German workforce will be reduced by about a third as part of a plan to reduce the industrial conglomerate to a few key divisions.

The number of employees in Germany will be reduced to about 7,000 from 10,000, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday, though those workers aren’t being fired and may merely start working for a different company. A report by German magazine Capital earlier Tuesday characterized the move as a headcount reduction.

“In Germany, roughly one third of the workforce is affected by these measures announced in the medium term. But this is in no way synonymous with job cuts.” GE spokesman Dominik Bayer said in an emailed statement.

GE is in the midst of an unprecedented reshaping as Chief Executive Officer John Flannery attempts to turn around the 126-year-old engineering behemoth. The company is spinning off its healthcare unit and will sell a majority stake in oilfield supplier Baker Hughes, in order to focus on power, renewable energy and aviation.

In Germany, GE’s activities are focused on health care, power, and additive manufacturing. The company spent over $1 billion in 2016 buying majority stakes in 3D-printer makers Arcam AB and Concept Laser GmbH.

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