Centrica axes 5,000 jobs

Chris O’Shea cuts 5,000 jobs at Centrica

Centrica is to cull a further 5,000 jobs this year, including around 20 top-level directors.

New CEO Chris O’Shea is attempting to curb heavy losses by reducing the group’s customer-facing business units and axing three management layers.

Internal consultations to identify posts to be cut begin today. More than 80 employee contracts, each with multiple variants, complicate the process.

Centrica lost £849m in 2019, reversing a £987m profit the year before.

Under former CEO Iain Conn, Centrica flagged last July its intention to exit oil and gas production. Conn left in April, with O’Shea stepping up from group finance director.

Today’s changes are designed to “address Centrica’s decline”, said O’Shea.

“I believe that our complex business model hinders the delivery of our strategy and inhibits the relentless focus I want to give to our customers,” he stated.

“The harsh reality is that we have lost over half of our earnings in recent years. Now we must bring focus by modernising and simplifying the way we do business.”

Centrica’s share price has slumped from around £4/share in 2014 to as low as 30p/share in April this year.

While it has since improved to around 40p/share, this morning’s announcement made little impact.

The 5,000 job seekers will join thousands of others losing their jobs following Ovo’s takeover of SSE’s domestic retail business, and thousands more as Eon and Npower fully merge.


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