Belgian specialty chemical company Solvay SA is launching a major restructuring which will see it cut 600 job and relocate of its French operation into Lyon.
The Brussels-based company said March 29 that the move was part of an ongoing effort to streamline its organization and upgrade its innovation capabilities.
As part of the measure, Solvay said it will simplify processes and tasks to focus teams on customers. It currently has 24,500 employees worldwide
The company did not elaborate on how the simplification would be implemented but said it would maintain its decentralized model. Its global business units will be responsible for developing their own strategic plans and implementing them with the support of the group.
In France, Solvay plans to upgrade its research site in Lyon to a center for advanced chemistry.
In addition, the company plans to relocate its Aubervilliers, France, operation and nearly all of its Paris activities to Lyon, and to a lesser extent to Brussels, in the next four years.
In Belgium, research and innovation in advanced materials science will expand, while the Brussels headquarters will be revamped.
Simplifying the organization is expected to lead to 600 job cuts, Solvay officials said, mainly in functional activities, including 160 in France, 90 in Portugal and 80 in Brazil.
The group has begun discussions with employee representatives, expecting to complete the procedures by the end of June.
Commenting on the decision, the outgoing Solvay CEO, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu said the move was part of a strategy to ‘better serve customers'.
"Now we need to… drastically simplify our organization and processes as well as align all our resources,” he said, adding the move would maximize value for the group.