BOSTON: GE has made a small reduction in headcount in its corporate comms function as part of a business review instituted by new CEO John Flannery this month.
Flannery has streamlined corporate and eliminated 25% of its workforce to cut costs, shrink its role, and give more ownership back to individual businesses, said a source familiar with the matter. However, the percentage of corporate communications staffers whose jobs were eliminated was far smaller than the 25% cut to corporate in general, according to the source.
GE is restructuring to focus on three key units: power, aviation, and healthcare, according to The Wall Street Journal. Flannery told investors on the company’s October 20 earnings call that the company is planning to cut costs by more than $2 billion next year.
The corporate review will not affect GE’s agency relationships; it works with external partners on a project-only basis, the company confirmed.
GE communications leader Deirdre Latour’s role was expanded last month to include senior strategy and leadership advisory responsibilities. She has also begun reporting to Flannery instead of vice chair Beth Comstock, who will step down at the end of this year.
Since beginning his tenure, Flannery has delivered weekly video messages to all employees, and the company has conducted all-hands broadcasts and IR activations.
GE’s revenue was up 14% to $33.5 billion in the third quarter. However, it also posted a loss of $36 million in the period, disappointing investors, according to CNBC.