Siemens cuts 4,200 jobs worldwide

Siemens unveiled a broad restructuring of its SIS information technology division that includes the elimination of 4,200 jobs worldwide.

Around 2,000 of the cuts would come in Germany, where some 9,700 of the division’s staff are employed, according to the business daily Handelsblatt.

Siemens said it would simplify its Solutions and Services (SIS) division and establish two poles of activity — business information technology solutions and IT outsourcing.

More than 500 million euros ($US680 million) would be invested in the unit by 2012 in what Siemens called a “market-oriented organization based on two business units with sharp customer focus.” The SIS division previously comprised seven units, the group said.

It aimed to “build on the specific industry and software know-how of the Siemens sectors, which are world-leaders,” finance director Joe Kaeser said.

Siemens said in December it would revamp the labor-intensive IT division to make it more flexible and market-oriented. The unit is to be given “all the conditions necessary for a stand-alone operating business by the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2010” which suggests it could be spun off at some point.

SIS sales have fallen for several years and analysts say its technical staff is better paid than at rivals such as IBM, Hewlett Packard and Accenture.

Overall, Siemens has spent 500 million euros ($US690 million) to restructure its various divisions and has eliminated 23,000 jobs. At the end of last year, its workforce totaled 405,000 worldwide.

The group’s vast operations extend from the manufacture of light bulbs and washing machines to medical imaging equipment, wind turbines, nuclear reactors and high-speed trains.

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