Gothenburg, Sweden — SKF AB has announced that it is eliminating 1,500 jobs worldwide as part of measures to accelerate its cost-cutting program, first launched in 2010. SKF employs about 150 people in Canada, the majority at its Canadian headquarters in Scarborough, ON. Several staffers were let go from SKF Canada the first week of February.
SKF is the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial bearings, and also supplies a wide variety of other products for industry, from seals and lubrication delivery systems to machine condition monitoring devices.
The company said it aims to reduce annual costs by 3.0 billion kronor (US$464 million) by the end of 2015, including 1.5 billion kronor for the years 2012 to 2015.
This will impact some 1,500 people primarily through early retirement and other voluntary and agreed reductions, SKF stated.
The company had reported a drop in net profits for four consecutive quarters.
Former chief executive Tom Johnstone, who retired at the end of 2014, was replaced on Jan. 1, 2015, by Alrik Danielson, president and CEO, who made the announcement about the job cuts.
In his 2014 year-end report for the company, Danielson said: “The focus remained on the marketplace, with a high activity level, a lot of new business gained and several customer awards received. Attention was also given to finalizing the new simplified, efficient and more customer-focused industrial market structure. This was done by merging our two industrial businesses and was launched on 1 January 2015.
“Combined with a rationalization of corporate staff functions, we estimate that this set-up will result in a reduction of approximately 1 500 employees worldwide, giving a sizeable white collar productivity improvement.
“With our simplified structure, I am convinced that we will be even better and quicker at creating competitive products and services with customer applications in focus.
“Looking forward, we continue to experience volatility in the marketplace. Sequentially, we expect the demand to be relatively unchanged for the Group. However, the short-term demand effects of the very low mineral and oil prices as well as the recent currency movements, with a stronger dollar, are difficult to predict.”