Sempra Cuts Jobs After Post-Merger Period Ends
San Diego-based Sempra Energy, the creation of a merger between
Pacific Enterprises and Enova in mid-1998, has announced a
voluntary job cut plan seeking a net reduction of about 275
positions, or about 2.5% of its overall work force. The majority of
the job eliminations will be rolled out in January and will target
management and administrative support jobs at Sempra's corporate
headquarters and in its two California utilities, Southern
California Gas and San Diego Gas and Electric.
Leaders of the two utility companies emphasized that they are
still hiring new skilled people to support Sempra's strategy for
succeeding in the newly competitive sectors of the energy industry
and related businesses. Offering the voluntary severance plan is
going to allow Sempra to more quickly make the organizational
changes it needs to improve its competitiveness, said CEO Dick
Farman, who will retire next summer. His successor confirmed by
the Sempra Board last week, Steve Baum, vice chairman, president
and COO, said offering the voluntary packages to eligible employees
will help Sempra position itself for the future competition.
"We're offering employees who would like to pursue other
opportunities that chance --- while focusing on developing and
recruiting the capabilities we need to advance our strategy," Baum
told employees in a communications sent to all members of the
12,000-employee work force. Eligible employees will get a choice of
having three years age and seniority added to their retirements or
3% of eligible pay times the number of years of service.
Sempra said about 1,200 employees will be offered a chance to
volunteer for the program, and among those about one-third will
apply and be accepted. The net number of jobs eliminated will be
less than the 275 because of ongoing recruiting for certain skill
areas --- particularly in the two utility companies, including
engineers, linemen, and customer service personnel dealing with the
distribution (wires and pipes) part of the business.
Sempra said it is offering the voluntary downsizing starting
next year, having come to the end of its post-merger employment
Richard Nemec, Los Angeles
©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights
reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or
redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of
Intelligence Press, Inc.