Thursday 12 September 2019 7:53 am

British American Tobacco to axe 2,300 jobs as it focuses on vaping

British American Tobacco (Bat) is slashing 2,300 jobs across the company as it seeks to simplify its business and re-invest in vaping under its new CEO.

Over 20 per cent of senior roles will disappear in the cull, said chief executive Jack Bowles, who added that the swathe of redundancies was “vital” to boost sales of vapour, e-cigarette and oral tobacco.

Read more: E-cigarette demand boosts sales at British American Tobacco

Bat is targeting £5bn in revenue from these new category products by 2023-24.

“Since taking on the role of chief executive five months ago, I have been clear that I wanted to make Bat a stronger, simpler and faster organisation and ensure a future fit culture,” Bowles said.

“My goal is to oversee a step change in new category growth and significantly simplify our current ways of working and business processes, whilst delivering long-term sustainable returns for our shareholders. This is a vital first move to help achieve these goals.”

Bat said the axe-swinging will reduce management layers, create fewer but larger business units and simplify key business processes.

The firm also believes it will be able to put its Global Business Services activities to better use.

The company hopes to have mostly concluded the process by January and has started a consultation process with all staff expected to be made redundant.

“A programme of this significance involves decisions that will be difficult for our people, but ultimately it is the right thing for our business,” Bowles added.

Read more: Trump thinks vaping is ‘a problem’ as officials move to ban flavoured e-cigarettes

President Donald Trump recently called vaping a “problem” for America as his administration looks at a possible ban on flavoured e-cigarettes.

Bowles became Bat CEO last November charged with modernising the firm as smoking declines and new tobacco formats like vaping grow in popularity.

He succeeded retiring CEO Nicandro Durante, who worked at Bat for almost 37 years. Bowles initially worked in Western Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific since joining Bat in 2004.