A week after news broke about Boeing eliminating 150 accounting and finance positions, the Wall Street Journal published an exclusive on Sept. 30 about another Fortune 500 company cutting even more jobs in its finance department:
Stanley Black & Decker Inc. has eliminated a large portion of finance jobs as part of an effort to cut up to $200 million in costs by year’s end amid high inflation and slowing demand.
The New Britain, Conn.-based maker of power tools and lawn equipment this week cut about 1,000 finance roles, according to two people familiar with the matter. The finance team cuts are part of broader layoffs within the company that have affected thousands of workers around the world, current and former employees said.
The reductions come as Stanley Black & Decker announced ambitious cost-cutting plans in July, including $1 billion in costs by the end of next year and $2 billion in the next three years. The company, whose brands include DeWalt and Craftsman tools as well as Cub Cadet riding lawn mowers, said it is simplifying its structures and processes, reducing certain spending and streamlining operations.
The WSJ article noted that Stanley Black & Decker had been handing out a significant amount of pink slips across different parts of the organization since July, including in its finance and IT departments. This included eliminating a large portion of a global analytics team with about 200 employees in early August. The company didn’t comment about the layoffs in the WSJ article.
But a few days later, Stanley Black & Decker’s PR machine broke its silence, telling CT Insider that the WSJ was wrong about the number of jobs being cut, but unlike Boeing, SB&D wouldn’t say how many people were being shown the door:
A Stanley Black & Decker spokesperson on Tuesday described a Wall Street Journal report as “inaccurate,” stating that the company is cutting 1,000 finance jobs across its operations — but declined to provide information on how many job cuts were included in an initial round the company’s CEO said last month would be largely complete by the first week of October.
The Wall Street Journal based its reporting on information from multiple current or former employees, without identifying them by name. On Tuesday, Stanley Black & Decker spokesperson Debora Raymond declined comment on any possible job actions in Connecticut or globally, but said the report’s jobs figure was incorrect. The effect of any layoffs in Connecticut remains unclear.
Automation and streamlining accounting functions may have played a part in the company’s decision to target the finance team for layoffs. PYMNTS research shows that CFOs are prioritizing investment in software solutions that automate various finance processes.
A recent PYMNTS survey found that 74% of CFOs at large companies see payment operation digitization as “very” or “extremely” important to their business goals. Meanwhile, 62% of CFOs of large companies said that digitization contributes to cost reduction.
Some of cost cuts are achieved by automating finance processes, which sometimes allow a company to get away with employing fewer people. And as labor shortages persist and inflation continues to rock markets, we are likely to see more companies automate their financial processes and reduce their workforce.
Since Oct. 4 when CT Insider published its article, things have been eerily quiet regarding the finance layoffs at Stanley Black & Decker. Discussion sites like TheLayoff.com and Reddit have acknowledged the WSJ and CT Insider articles, but aside from people bitching in the comment section about the quality of SB&D tools nowadays, no one has come forward to confirm exactly how many people were let go or if they were a victim of the cost-cutting.
We’ll update this article if anything new is reported.
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