The multinational business said in a statement it intends to accelerate its digital transformation and to respond more quickly to fast-paced technological changes.
“We understand that this is a difficult time for our employees. Nestlé is committed to treating everyone with respect and appreciation. We will explore all possible options to provide support and to mitigate the impact on our colleagues,” said Peter Vogt, group head of Human Resources and Member of the Nestlé Executive Board. “Nestlé remains fully committed to its home base in Switzerland. The relationship between Nestlé and Switzerland is mutually beneficial and the company will continue to invest in the country.”
Nestlé said it aims to access wider digital skills and to benefit from IT innovation. These measures would also enhance its operational effectiveness. Over the next 18 months, this re-organisation could lead to a reduction of up to 500 IT positions in Switzerland.
Furthermore, Nestlé said Nespresso is planning to establish dedicated operational centers in Spain and Portugal to benefit from existing hubs in the areas of e-commerce and supply chain, and also intends to create a center of excellence for boutique operations in Italy. The company said it is Nespresso’s intention to offer roles in these centers to all of the 80 employees impacted by the proposed change.
Nestlé said its plans will now be subject to a period of consultation with the concerned employees, who will be invited to share their comments and feedback. It will also work with its employees to draw up detailed social plans to mitigate the impact of the re-organisation for the people concerned. Assistance may include job offers from within the Nestlé Group, early retirement or outplacement support. These plans do not affect any of the company’s production sites in Switzerland.
The number of Nestlé employees in Switzerland rose from around 6700 in 2003 to over 10,100 in 2017. The company has made several major investments in the country over the past years. It is currently strengthening its research entities in Lausanne, which is the focal point of its global research and development activities. In 2017, Nestlé invested CHF 289 million in production, distribution, real estate and IT infrastructure in Switzerland with approximately CHF 300 million being invested in 2018.