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Ford confirms new salaried worker job cuts as part of $11B overhaul

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Ford Motor Co. is eliminating more salaried jobs, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Salaried workers in accounting, human resources and administrative support working at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn are reportedly being let go, sources close to the situation confirmed to the Free Press. In addition, the information technology team in China has reportedly seen reductions.

"We're not going to provide any numbers," Ford spokesman Said Deep said Wednesday in response to questions about the specific areas cut. "We will provide details once the process is complete in the second quarter."

He added, "We are undergoing a smart redesign process that allows us to create a more dynamic, agile and empowered workforce. At the same time, we're becoming more fit as a business."

Deep declined to say when from April through June the company would announce the total number of jobs slashed. Asked whether cuts were, in fact, happening on Wednesday, he declined to provide details.

"I can tell you that this whole redesign is going to reduce bureaucracy and empower our leaders to focus on the most value-added work and ensure we have the right cost structure around the world," he said.

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"Yes, the work has resulted in some separations of salaried employees and the reassignment of others. We understand this is a challenging time for our team, but these steps are necessary. We expect the process to be completed in the second quarter and will make announcements at the appropriate time."

Pressed for details -- more than 10 jobs? More than 100 jobs? -- Deep said, "All I can tell you is there are some separations this work has resulted in. This process began earlier. So it starts at the top, cascades through the organization and has been happening over weeks and months. Leaders at the various levels of the company are shaping the organization, focusing on the most critical work and, in some instances, shifting how work is done."

While Deep declined to discuss timing, sources within the company said cuts are happening this week.

White-collar workers have said for months that the mood at Ford headquarters in Dearborn is palpably anxious. They describe "paralyzing" tension waiting for job cuts and strategic decisions as the company's $11-billion restructuring slowly unfolds.

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