WALLDORF (dpa-AFX) - According to a newspaper report, the software manufacturer SAP is planning to cut 2,600 jobs in Germany as part of its announced major restructuring program. A spokesman for the company did not comment on Saturday on the concrete figure, which emerged from a report in the "Handelsblatt". Previously, there had only been talk of a total of 8000 jobs affected by the restructuring. "SAP launched a restructuring program for the entire company in January in order to focus on strategic growth areas such as Business AI," the spokesperson said. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence.

"This restructuring affects 8,000 jobs. We are treating the affected employees with great care and empathy by offering them internal job alternatives or volunteer programs, among other things." There is close cooperation with the social partners in the respective regions. Most of the affected employees will be notified in the coming weeks.

Handelsblatt referred to an internal email from SAP's European Works Council. According to the e-mail, the committee criticizes the planned major restructuring as a measure that is primarily intended to cut costs.

The email states that "the management has not sufficiently justified the business logic and has not provided any precise information about inefficiencies", the newspaper writes. The program name "Next Level Transformation" is a euphemism for staff cuts.

According to the report, jobs are also to be cut in other European countries. In the area of responsibility of the European Works Council, around 4100 jobs are to be cut.

According to the SAP spokesperson, Europe's largest software manufacturer plans to complete the entire restructuring process worldwide by the end of the first quarter of 2025. "At the same time, we will continue to invest in key growth areas and expect to end 2024 with stable employee numbers."

The hype surrounding artificial intelligence in the software industry was sparked last year by the release of the ChatGPT dialog system. Since then, all software companies have been keen to get a slice of the hoped-for big cake and are investing a lot of money in the technology./jak/DP/mis