Citigroup will cut 9,000 jobs during the second quarter, on top of the 4,200 it cut during the last quarter, Chief Financial Officer Gary Crittenden said during a conference call, according to media reports. "We're focused on expense management," Crittenden said.
Earlier in the week, Citi's chief executive, Vikram Pandit, hinted at further cuts as he spoke of reducing the firm's cost base by up to 20 percent. Some observers have speculated the total number of job cuts could reach into the tens of thousands. While Wall Street's had that impression for some time, remarks by Pandit - combined with a deeper than expected first quarter loss of $5.11 billion ($1.02 a share) - sharpened the fears.
While Pandit has said reducing costs will involve more than job cuts, his targets indicate any reductions in staff could be larger than anticipated, said the Financial Times. Analysts said Citi will cut about 25,000 jobs in the next few months, according to the FT. Pandit also plans to seek savings from streamlining computer systems and operations, and by focusing on core businesses.
That means getting rid of others. "Anything that smells like a conglomerate is going to be gone," Pandit told the FT. "We are getting out of all our hobbies and focusing on our core competencies."
Citi's IT budget - which runs into the tens of billions of dollars - is close under Pandit's microscope. Citi employs some 23,000 developers, and its decentralized operation includes a number of duplicated functions. Pandit has moved to have all IT decisions in New York.