Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser had sent chills through its workforce of 240,000 employees, when she had said that her sweeping corporate overhaul would result in an undisclosed number of layoffs, in September. “We’ll be saying goodbye to some vert talented and hard-working colleagues,” she had warned in a memo.
Employees’ concerns are justified. Managers and consultants working on Fraser’s reorganisation – known internally by its code name, ‘Project Bora Bora’ – have discussed job cuts by 10% in several major businesses, according to people with the knowledge of the process. The talks are early and numbers may shift in coming weeks.
The CEO is under mounting pressure to fix the Citigroup, a global bank so difficult to manage that its challenges consumed three predecessors dating back to 2007. The bank has fallen further behind rivals since Fraser took over in early 2021.
“The only thing she can do at this point is a really substantial headcount reduction,” James Shanahan, an Edward Jones analyst said in an interview. He continued that the CEO needs to do something big and admitted that it will be bigger and much more painful for the employees at Citigroup than they expect.
If Fraser decides to layoff 10% of its workforce, it will mark as one of the Wall Street’s deepest rounds of dismissals in years.