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Coles Group to remove 450 head office roles to cut costs

Supermarket giant Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) looks set to follow in the footsteps of rival Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) by pushing ahead with a restructure of its own in the near future.

According to The Age, a shake-up at its head office is set to see 450 roles go and the departure of senior executives.

What is happening?

According to the report, on Thursday morning Coles staff were told that the roles would go as part of the company’s efficiency drive.

This won’t necessarily result in the loss of 450 jobs as Coles has purposely left a number of roles vacant.

But two executives that are known to be heading to the exit are Alister Jordan and Paul Bradshaw.

The report explains that Mr Jordan, the chief executive officer of Coles Express, online and corporate affairs, will leave the company at the end of this year and Mr Bradshaw, Coles’ chief store operations officer, will also leave the business.

The company’s current chief operating officer, Greg Davis, will now be in charge of the Coles Express convenience store business and will also take on the chief executive of commercial role.

Coles is also understood to have poached Ian Bowring from Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) to lead its smart selling unit.

Why is Coles doing this?

This restructure appears to be part of the company’s major strategic reset which is expected to be announced next week, outlining its plan to reshape the business.

This is likely to be focused on offsetting increasing labour costs rise and freeing up funds to invest in its online and convenience businesses.

These aren’t the only roles that Coles is axing. Earlier this year the company executed definitive contracts with WITRON Australia to develop two new automated distribution centres.

This will lead to a large number of redundancies at existing distribution centres that will be closed over a five year period.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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