Uniper’s UK chair Felix Lerch talks about restructuring and repositioning the company

Job losses at Uniper, the fossil fuel and commodities company spun out of E.On, will continue until the end of the year, admits UK chair Felix Lerch. He told New Power in a wide-ranging interview that streamlining the company is a “big project” that will touch all parts of the company. Lerch explains: “It’s part of a process when you take a company like E.On and you split it in two. “We are a much smaller business and we have to be nimble and flexible. From a system and process point of view we have to work very differently than a big corporation like E.On used to work. We are changing our processes, the hierarchy is much flatter, and with different systems and processes it means people will be affected.”

He added, “We are a functional organisation, so the question is what you need to run the business. You do bottom-up and top-down, and there is a crunch in the middle – no question about it.” The company is already implementing change and expects it to be complete by the end of the year.

The UK chair told New Power that the Uniper was now looking “beyond conventional power generation” for the future. Uniper’s innovation team is looking at opportunities. “Some are closer to our existing skill set, like ‘renewables to hydrogen’, while some are further away and far from what we currently do. The closer to our existing skill set the quicker we can implement them.”
New Power asked whether there were any areas where Uniper would not compete with the new E.On. Absolutely not, said Lerch: “We are competitors now.”

New Power Report subscribers: login to read the full interview here

Further interviews:

Interview: Mark Somerset, Intergen

Interview: Toni Volpe, Falck Renewables

The future for heat: interview with Jeff Douglas, Energy Systems Catapult

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