Henkel Plans Neither Job Cuts Nor Short-Time Working

Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the economic consequences, Henkel does not plan to work short-time or cut jobs. “We haven’t had any short-time work or layoffs because of the Corona crisis. We don’t see any reason for that at the moment,” CEO Carsten Knobel told Handelsblatt. But it is also clear that the crisis is weighing on Henkel. “However, we will not be deterred from implementing our strategy regardless of the crisis,” he said.

Knobel has been CEO of Henkel since January 2020, previously he was CFO and had worked with his predecessor Hans Van Bylen and his predecessor Kasper Rorsted. “We did a lot right at Henkel in the past, but we also made a few mistakes,” he told the newspaper. “I made that clear from the start. I was part of the team and was on the board for eight years. I helped make the decisions.” Henkel focused too much on efficiency and too little on growth.

In March, the group announced growth initiatives to become leaner, more focused, more agile, more sustainable, more innovative, and more digital. By 2021, Henkel plans to sell or discontinue sales of around 500 million euros in consumer brands and categories.

In an interview with the Handelsblatt, the CEO named four pillars of the future direction: The portfolio in the two segments laundry detergent (Laundry) and care products for hair, body, skin and oral hygiene (Beauty Care) is to be restructured; the company wants to increase its competitiveness in terms of innovations, digitalization and sustainability; the business processes should be optimized and the corporate culture should be improved.