BHP moves more people out of its technology organisation

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BHP moves more people out of its technology organisation

Updated: About 300 people change reporting lines.

BHP made further changes to its technology workforce in the back half of 2020, bringing reductions in the overall size of the team to just over 50 percent of what it once was.

The miner provided the revised figure in an appendix to its half-year results announcement [pdf].

It noted there had now been a “reduction of [greater than] 50 percent in [its] technology workforce”, but maintained its goal of reducing overhead costs by around 30 percent.

The miner previously said cuts would impact up to 30 percent of its previously 2000-strong technology workforce, and it had already slightly exceeded that goal by the end of June last year.

iTnews understands that the additional 15 percent of the technology workforce, or 300 people, impacted by “realignment” of the global technology function in the back half of 2020 comprised contractors and teams being transferred out of the technology function to other parts of business.

They no longer report to technology but were not cut from BHP entirely.

The “realignment", which ran throughout 2020, sees technology move from being a wholly-centralised corporate business unit with operations in Singapore and Australia to a more decentralised workforce located closer to the company’s mining assets.

Chief financial officer David Lamont noted in the miner’s half year results announcement that technology and innovation would continue to play a role in the company’s future.

“Throughout my corporate career I have worked for companies with strong research, science and technology skills embedded in their DNA,” Lamont said.

“BHP indeed has these attributes and I firmly believe that by applying these in an innovative and focused manner we can extract more from our existing resource base.”

BHP said it had made ground in the back half of 2020 increasing its use of data insights, decision automation and machine learning “to improve feed blend visibility [and] predictability in coal handling”.

BHP reported a first half profit of US$9.8 billion, up 17 percent on the prior corresponding period. It said it would pay a record half year dividend of US$1.01 dividend per share.

Updated, 6.08pm: This story originally reported the "reduction" of additional technology employees as potential job cuts, however it has since been clarified that the impacted roles remain at BHP and have simply switched reporting lines.

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