Philip Morris International said today that it had opened an employee consultation on the company’s intention to restructure its global and regional functions based in Switzerland, a reorganization that might involve up to 170 positions being either eliminated or transferred to other countries.
“The intended restructuring aims to reduce complexity and reallocate resources to better support PMI’s long-term growth around the world,” PMI said in a note posted on its website.
Approximately 140 of the 170 positions under consideration will concern the company’s workforce in Lausanne, and the remaining 30 are in global functions based in Neuchatel.
PMI employs about 3,000 people in Switzerland, just over 1,950 of whom work in the global and regional functions that are the subject of the proposed restructuring.
“We remain fully committed to Switzerland and to the cities of Neuchatel and Lausanne, which are home to both our global and Swiss market operational structures,” said Kevin Click, PMI’s senior vice president for human resources.
“Any decision will be taken after thorough evaluation, but I believe a realignment of our global functions is necessary to ensure that we stay optimally equipped to service our markets and foster the growth of our business.
“We realize that this period of uncertainty will be extremely difficult for our employees, particularly those who may be regretfully impacted.
“We are fully committed to [supporting] our people throughout this process.”
Following the conclusion of the employee consultation, PMI said it would finalize any related plans and notify employees and the cantonal authorities accordingly. If restructuring plans proceeded, any impacted employees would be provided with comprehensive support, both financially and through job search consultancy.
“Since 2008 we have added more than 400 jobs in Switzerland and invested 700 million CHF, including in our state-of-the-art Research & Development Center in Neuchatel and our new Data Center in Bonvillars,” said Click.
“We have a long and proud history in Switzerland which we look forward to continuing for many years to come.”
The restructuring plans are said not to involve several other PMI entities in Switzerland, including the company’s Swiss market affiliate Philip Morris SA and PMI’s R&D Center and manufacturing facility in Neuchatel.
Earlier this year, PMI’s chairman and then-CEO, Louis C. Camilleri, said that the 2012 Annual Report was dedicated to the company’s employees and showcased the considerable breadth of talent that it enjoyed around the world. “Our company is blessed with a diverse pool of superb talent that, with unwavering passion and commitment to excellence, is the driving force behind our performance,” he said.