American hotelier Hilton Hotels Corporation has announced that it has made around 100 full-time staff redundant at its international headquarters in Watford. An undisclosed number of contract staff will also lose their jobs.
The job cuts were forecast back in February when it was widely reported that the hotel operator (which was bought out by Blackstone for $26b in October 2007) was planning more than 1,000 job losses worldwide, and announced the closure of its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
Insisting that the job cuts are part of a “big picture strategy which happens to fall during tough times,” rather than a response to losses accrued during the downturn, a spokesperson from Hilton confirmed.
An article in today’s Times newspaper suggests that the redundancies are part of a cost-cutting strategy designed to save the company $250 million (£150 million) in cost savings, but the operator has dismissed these claims.
“We have been going through a corporate transitional exercise and we are making around 100 redundancies in the Watford offices, across the board. We’ve been moving from a regional structure to a more functional-led structure since the Blackstone take-over, in order to make us a more efficient company. Yes it’s come at a difficult time, but it would have happened anyway – it’s not about cost cutting.
“We’ve been through a 90-day consultation period, which concluded on June 23 and it comes as part of a broader restructure which is designed at ensuring we are a more functionally driven, efficient, streamlined global organisation which will hopefully put us in a stronger position.”
Hilton, which owns over 3000 hotels internationally, is in the midst of opening new hotels in the UK in Reading and Liverpool.