More HR jobs set to go at Sony Ericsson

More HR jobs are set to be axed at Sony Ericsson, Personnel Today has learned.

Michael Chivers, the vice-president of HR, said that as part of the 2,000 redundancies announced by the mobile phone retailer last year, HR would face redundancies this year. He refused to specify how many job cuts the function would be forced to make, but said one HR position had already gone during the closure of the company’s software design site in Warrington.

The cuts are expected to reduce operating costs by £300m a year. But a profit warning last week said the company faces potential losses of €390m (£357m) in the first quarter of 2009. Chivers said he couldn’t rule out further redundancies on top of those already announced.

“HR will get smaller,” he said. “The HR function is getting smaller almost month by month, but so is the business. I can’t say there won’t be [more] redundancies because if we end up closing sites, which is always a possibility, then you get redundancy and we’ve just had that in Warrington.But we’re also moving people a lot and combining roles, creating synergy as we go.”

Chivers added he had redeployed talent across HR where possible to avoid making redundancies and hang onto key skills ready for the upturn.

“[Redeployment within HR] is a really great way that we retain the top talent, and when we grow I’ve retained that strength. I’ve lost the headcount, I’ve probably changed the way we are doing business and everybody wins if we do it well.”

Last week research from Personnel Today‘s sister organisation Celre found the number of HR functions redeploying talent had practically doubled over the past year in response to the recession. The survey of 5,752 HR practitioners found that the ‘internal transfer’ rate within HR functions rose to 8.1% – up from 4.3% in 2008, and 1.6% during the 1991 downturn.

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