British Gas owner Centrica to cut 5,000 jobs
Centrica, the owner of British Gas, is to cut 5,000 jobs this year to “arrest the decline” of the company.
The company has been losing customers to rivals and, in February, blamed a big loss in 2019 on the energy price cap and falling gas prices.
Centrica also said the coronavirus crisis had shown how the company could be “agile and responsive”.
New boss Chris O’Shea said most of the cuts would fall in the UK as the energy giant seeks to slim down its business.
About half of the jobs to go will be among the company’s leadership, management and corporate staff. This will include half of the senior leadership team of 40 who will leave by the end of August.
Centrica currently has about 27,000 employees, with 20,000 of these based in the UK.
Mr O’Shea was officially appointed as Centrica chief executive in April, having previously been the company’s finance director. He took over from Iain Conn, who had said last summer that he intended to leave the role.
“Since becoming chief executive almost three months ago, I’ve focused on navigating the company through the Covid-19 crisis and identifying what needs to change in Centrica,” Mr O’Shea said.
“We’ve learnt through the crisis that we can be agile and responsive in the most difficult conditions and put our customers at the heart of our decision making.
“I truly regret that these difficult decisions will have to be made and understand the impact on the colleagues who will leave us. However, the changes we are proposing to make are designed to arrest our decline, allow us to focus on our customers and create a sustainable company.”