01 July 1998

THE UK’S LARGEST privately-owned company, pools-to-home shopping giant Littlewoods Group, has unveiled plans to make 20% of its head office management redundant. As forecast, the strategy has been designed and implemented by recently appointed chief executive Barry Gibson to inject life into the Moores family-owned group’s moribund corporate culture and streamline decision-making. It is also part of a plan to hone Littlewoods’ three Liverpool-based divisional headquarter sites down to one. Voluntary redundancy will be offered to some five hundred head office managers, although the company expects only around 100 to accept the package, averaging £50,000 per head - equivalent to two years salary. [The fate of those that decline Gibson’s generosity is unstated!] Pay and benefits schemes are also to be simplified. News of the cull coincides with the appointment of a new marketing director, Susan Murray, former Smirnoff brand director at IDV before it was absorbed into the Diageo mammoth.