New ThyssenKrupp Chief Executive Officer Martina Merz on Wednesday paved the way for deeper job cuts at the ailing conglomerate, telling employees in an internal memo such a step was necessary for a much-needed turnaround. Thrown into crisis by a chain of events that started with activist fund Elliott taking a stake last year, ThyssenKrupp is trying to improve its operating performance and simplify its overly complex structure. To do that, it is planning to list or sell its elevator division and is willing to sell majority stakes in its struggling car parts and plant engineering divisions, which Merz said are facing significant changes. “It is true that this will not be possible without significant job cuts,” Merz said in the memo seen by Reuters. Reuters
"This is about strengthening businesses and improving performance. This is not a sellout."
Her remarks come about a week after she dropped her chairman mandate and took over as CEO, replacing Guido Kerkhoff, whose efforts to implement the turnaround were seen as too slow and lacking determination.
Thyssenkrupp previously said it would cut 6,000 of the group's 162,000 jobs, a step seen by sources familiar with the matter as insufficient to improve the group's cost structure.