Western Union to cut 175 jobs and consolidate operations

Western Union to cut 175 jobs and consolidate operations

Western Union is to cut 175 jobs and consolidate its operations in an effort to achieve $50 million in annual savings by 2012.

The global money transfer operator - which currently employs some 6800 people - says the overhaul will simplify business processes and move decision making closer to the marketplace. The restructuring comes just over a month after the company named chief operating officer Hikmet Ersek to replace Christina Gold as CEO.

The upheavals will cut through a swathe of management layers, reducing the number of executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents and vice presidents. The company's bill payment business will be put under the command of America's president Stewart Stockdale, and a new position focusing on electronic channels and new customer segments for consumers and businesses will be created.

The proposed changes to business operations include the closing, consolidation, and downsizing of facilities and the creation of a new regional operations centre in Europe.

Most of the management changes will be effective in the next 30 days, while the changes to business operations - resulting in the migration of the work performed by approximately 550 positions - are expected to occur over the next 18 months.

The company anticipates recording a total of approximately $80 million of restructuring charges through 2011, which includes $75 million for severance, facility closure and other costs.

CEO-elect Ersek says: "Simplifying our structure will allow us to improve our productivity and customer focus, capitalise on growth opportunities, and enhance long-term financial returns for our shareholders."

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