Thomas Enders, chief executive of EADS ()
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PARIS — EADS plans to cut 5,800 jobs by the end of 2016 in a consolidation of defense, space and military transport aircraft units into a planned Airbus Defense and Space division, the European company said Dec. 9.
“Overall, EADS plans to reduce ... 5,800 positions at Airbus DS and in corporate/headquarters functions until the end of 2016,” the company said in a statement.
The job losses are part of a move centered on the Cassidian defense and security unit, seen as needed after a plan to merge EADS and BAE Systems failed to win political support last year.
“We need to improve our competitiveness in defense and space — and we need to do it now,” EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders said.
Cassidian is widely expected to bear the brunt of the job cuts.
Germany, which headquarters Cassidian, will see 2,600 posts slashed, followed by France with 1,700 positions, a company executive said.
The fall in EADS’s traditional business lay behind the need to cut costs, better focus research and development, and pursue export markets, Enders said.
A planned 1,000 to 1,450 posts will be made redundant if voluntary departures, end of temporary contracts, and early retirements fail to hit the target 5,800 job cuts, the company said.
A planned sale and leaseback of the Paris offices could raise €100 million (US $137 million), daily Le Figaro reported. Press reports also said the cuts would deliver €690 million, La Tribune reported.
EADS declined to comment.
Some 500 positions will go in corporate jobs across the company’s four core countries — Britain, France, Germany and Spain.
Up to 1,500 jobs will be offered at EADS Airbus and Eurocopter divisions if staff opt to relocate, the company said.
Under the reorganization, the company will move out of the Paris office to the Suresnes suburbs, while the offices at Les Mureaux and Elancourt, also in the outskirts of the capital, will form the center of the defense and space business in France, EADS said.
In Germany, the defense and space division will be headquartered at Ottobrun, forcing the move of some 1,000 staff out of the Untersleissheim site.
In Spain, where Airbus Military builds the A400M airlifter, the staff in the Madrid area will move to the Getafe site.
In the UK, activities will be based in three sites: Stevenage, Portsmouth and Newport.
Jobs will also be cut in other countries besides the four in Europe.
The new Airbus DS division is due to go operational by the middle of 2014, as EADS renames itself as the Airbus Group.