Less than six months into the job, Bank of Ireland chief executive Francesca McDonagh is revealing her inner "Mc the Knife" with plans afoot to cut 15 per cent of staff from ranks of middle managers to executives.
Sources estimate that it could lead to up to 200 people leaving the company across Ireland and the UK as McDonagh prepares to show investors at her keenly-awaited capital markets day in June that she has is putting her own stamp on the business, having succeeded Richie Boucher last October.
News of the development comes just weeks after McDonagh announced a shake-up of her executive management committee. This included a decision by Lewis Love, group chief operating officer, to leave the company to "pursue other opportunities", while Michael Torpey, head of the corporate and treasury division, and Peter Morris, chief governance and regulatory officer, plan to retire during the summer.
Meanwhile, Gavin Kelly was named in the same statement as the new head of the group's largest division, Retail Ireland, replacing Liam McLoughlin, who signalled his departure in January.
McDonagh sought to convince the market of her cost consciousness as she presided over the group’s full-year figures at the end of February, promising that group costs would be lower this year than in 2017.
“We’re looking at all of our outsourcing arrangements and third partners, and challenging ourselves to make sure they are optimal,” she told analysts at the time. “We’ve had a 50 per cent reduction in contractor numbers in 2017.”
For the new chief executive, it’s all about “having the right people with the right skills in the right place doing the right job”, she said.
The current planned cull of managers and executives will be a mere prelude to job cuts resulting from the group’s ambitious €900 million information technology overhaul.