By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co.’s 7,000 salaried layoffs announced last week will not affect its ongoing $1.2 billion redevelopment here, a company spokeswoman said.
Ford Internal Communications Director Marisa Bradley said Ford’s Smart Redesign, in which 7,000 salaried positions will be eliminated globally by August, is separate from the redevelopment to move 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into two campuses in the city.
Of the 7,000 eliminations, 1,500 workers in the United States took voluntary packages last year and 800, including agency employees will be affected by involuntary separations, Bradley said.
The separations took place in various departments and Ford locations in the United States as part of the Smart Redesign process that started in the fall, and will be completed in the United States by June.
When asked about the potential impact the layoffs will have locally and in Dearborn, Bradley referred to a statement issued on the redesign.
“As we have said, Ford is undergoing an organizational redesign process helping us create a more dynamic, agile and empowered workforce, while becoming more fit as a business,” the statement read. “The majority of the redesign is now complete for North America and will be concluding in other regions by August.
“By the end of the process in August, we expect to have eliminated about 7,000 salaried positions or about 10 percent of our global salaried workforce. Within that total, and consistent with our goal to reduce bureaucracy, we will have reduced management structure by close to 20 percent which will result in annual savings of about $600 million.”
In an email sent to employees on May 20, Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett wrote that the business imperatives behind Smart Redesign were compelling.
“To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-changing future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making, focus on the most valuable work, and cut costs,” the email read. “This required intensive work across multiple layers of our company. Despite the challenges, many participants told us the organizational design workshops were very impactful in helping them shape their organizations and their own roles as leaders.”
Hackett also shared some results to come when Smart Redesign is complete, including identifying more than 5,000 concrete ideas to change the way they work — identifying new initiatives as well as work that was not value added; creating the new Enterprise Product Line Management organization, which will ensure Ford manage their product lines end-to-end for maximum customer centricity and profitability, as well as their Customer Experience group; and also creating the International Markets Group, to focus on the customer and ensure these markets receive the attention they need to thrive and grow.
Work for Smart Redesign will not be done once the layoffs conclude, with more work needed in the coming months, Hackett said.
“We will continue to work collaboratively and respectfully with our teams and other partners to ensure our designs are effective and fit and that our employees are treated fairly and with respect,” he said. “I remain in awe of the skill and dedication of the Ford team around the world, and more excited than ever about what we can accomplish together.
“I hope you can feel the momentum building as we work together transforming Ford into the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world.”
Hackett also added that Ford is a family company and saying goodbye to colleagues is difficult and emotional and that he hopes employees take a moment to thank employees leaving personally for their service and commitment to Ford.
“We have moved away from past practices in some regions where team members who were separated had to leave immediately with their belongings, instead giving people the choice to stay for a few days to wrap up and say goodbye,” he wrote in the email. “We also have a range of resources and services in place to support employees in managing this transition.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])