Jun 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

BP to cut global workforce by 10,000 jobs

A BP gas station in Michigan.
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

BP plans to cut its global workforce by 10,000 jobs, or 14%, with most of the reduction occurring by year's end, the company announced this morning.

Driving the news: "The majority of people affected will be in office-based jobs. We are protecting the frontline of the company and, as always, prioritizing safe and reliable operations," CEO Bernard Looney said in an email to staff that he made public.

  • The move will have a significant effect on senior-level workers as the company moves toward a "flatter" structure, spokesperson David Nicholas added in an emailed summary.

Why it matters: It signals the pandemic's effect as oil companies including BP slash spending amid the crisis that has pushed prices and oil demand sharply lower.

  • "We are spending much, much more than we make — I am talking millions of dollars, every day," Looney said in the email, which followed a webcast on the topic.
  • For BP, it comes as the oil giant is also repositioning itself to grow its low-carbon business (though oil-and-gas remain its dominant products) and aiming to become a "net-zero" company by mid-century.

The big picture: BP officials note that even before the crisis, the company had signaled early this year that it planned to become, as Looney's email notes, a "leaner, faster-moving and lower carbon company."

  • "These plans and actions have been accelerated and amplified by the need to respond to market conditions and reduce our  costs," Nicholas said.
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