InDaily has been told that staff – some of them long-standing employees of the Adelaide company – were told about the loss of their jobs in a meeting on Monday morning and received written notices of severance the same day.
The national accounts manager was sacked immediately, while the rest of the staff were told they will lose their jobs in early February.
InDaily asked Hills to confirm whether the staff had been sacked, how many had lost their jobs, and whether the function would be sent off-shore, but the company refused.
Instead, a spokesman for Hills said he had nothing to add to speeches by chairman Jennifer Hill-Ling and CEO David Lenz at the AGM last Friday where they talked about the company’s “back to basics recovery journey”.
“As far as SA goes, the national Hills Ltd group maintains shared services, sales and manufacturing operations in this state,” the spokesman said.
Hills’ corporate office is on Pitt Street in Sydney. In Adelaide, the company is based at Tonsley.
Lenz said in his speech on Friday that Hills was in the midst of an 18-month “recovery journey”.
“As with any business recovery there is still more to be done and the management team is continuing to look for further cost reductions across the business,” he said. “We will continue to flatten the organisation while seeking further improvements in productivity, customer service and customer experience.”
Hills has been on a roller-coaster ride over recent years as the company, famous for the Hills hoist, sought to transform itself from a relatively basic manufacturer into an tech-based innovator.
InDaily charted the company’s travails in February this year. The Hills share price has bounced up since then, but is still well below historical levels.
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