DETROIT: Effective May 1, General Motors will officially let go of a “significant number” of staffers in the global communications department, alongside other company reductions, according to Steve Harris, GM's VP of global communications.
While Harris declined to provide an exact number, he did note layoffs were “more than a handful” and occurred from the junior to senior levels across geographies, with the largest number of layoffs occurring in the US.
Though the effective date is May 1, these staffers have already exited the company.
“The largest concentration of people is in the US, and [this] had been our largest market, but this has dropped considerably in the past year,” said Harris.
Of the current communications staff, more than half are focused on product and tech launches, with a smaller group focusing on financial and corporate communications. With these cuts, remaining staffers have had to take on more tasks, according to Harris.
“The staff is of a size that everyone is aware of what everyone else is doing and people cross lines quite often,” said Harris, adding that despite the turnover the overall infrastructure of the department and agency support remains largely the same.
Of the communications disciplines, one area that has remained consistent in terms of staffing is its social media group, said Harris.
These layoffs were not made in conjunction with budget cuts, but instead as a result of a review happening over the past few months, he added.
“This round really was initiated this year,” said Harris, “We spent a couple of months reviewing the organizations, identifying the individuals, and then exiting the people [leaving GM].”