Exxon Mobil to cut 1,900 U.S. jobs, primarily in Houston

Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), which employs thousands of people in the Houston area, has announced more details of its previously anticipated U.S. layoff plans.

The energy giant expects about 1,900 U.S. employees “will be affected through voluntary and involuntary programs,” an Oct. 29 press release states.

Exxon’s management offices in the Houston area will feel the biggest impact, the release notes, but a specific number of local layoffs was not disclosed. Exxon’s Houston presence includes its 385-acre corporate campus in Springwoods Village, between Houston and The Woodlands, as well as offices in The Woodlands’ 66-acre Hughes Landing mixed-use development. It also operates the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex, which is one of the largest integrated and most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world, according to the company.

Beyond the U.S. layoffs, Exxon expects to reduce its global workforce by about 15%, according to reports. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company projects cutting about 14,000 jobs, including employees and contractors, through 2021.

“The workforce reductions are the result of ongoing reorganizations and work-process changes that have been made over the past several years to improve efficiency and reduce costs,” Exxon said in its Oct. 29 press release. “These actions will improve the company’s long-term cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through the current unprecedented market conditions. The impact of Covid-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work.

“The company recognizes these decisions will impact employees and their families and has put these programs in place only after comprehensive evaluation and thoughtful deliberation. Employees who are separated through involuntary programs will be provided with support, including severance and outplacement services.”

In May, Exxon CEO Darren Woods said the company was cutting its expenses but not its jobs.

But news surfaced last week that Exxon would announce U.S. layoffs soon. Exxon already said this month that it expects to cut as many as 1,600 jobs in Europe.

Plenty of other oil and gas companies have cut jobs during 2020, including some of the biggest.

California-based Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) confirmed to Reuters in May that the company expected to reduce its global headcount by 10% to 15% to “match projected activity levels.” Based on Chevron’s May headcount, that plan translates to about 4,500 to 6,750 jobs eliminated worldwide. Around 700 Houston employees were expected to be let go this month.

Additionally, Chevron will cut about 25% of former Noble Energy employees now that its acquisition of the Houston-based company is complete. Although the exact number was not disclosed, cutting Noble’s 2019 workforce of 2,280 employees would mean eliminating about 570 positions.

In late September, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A, RDS-B) said it expects to have eliminated 7,000 to 9,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022. That includes around 1,500 people who have already agreed to take voluntary redundancy but excludes anyone who might leave Shell because of divestments.

In June, BP PLC (NYSE: BP) said it will cut about 15% of its global headcount, or about 10,000 of the company’s 70,100 positions worldwide. The cuts will mainly target office jobs at BP and are expected to impact senior levels significantly, making the senior structure flatter.

By Olivia Pulsinelli – Assistant Managing Editor

Courtesy of The Houston Business Journal


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