Executives at Hess Corp., an oil and gas company based in New York, announced earlier this week they would lay off 13 percent of its workforce, totaling 300 workers, as a cost-cutting measure.
The majority of those layoffs will reportedly impact the company’s Houston office, and layoffs are expected to start this week.
In 2012, the company employed over 12,000 people, most of whom reportedly worked in the refining industry.
When Hess sold off its refining interests, however, it also laid off most of those employees.
The most recent announcement marks the latest round of layoffs, which started in 2014 and are estimated to bring the company down to around 2,000 employees.
“We are doing all we can to ease the transition for employees who are impacted including severance, outplacement assistance and other benefits and support,” Hess spokesperson Lorrie Hecker wrote in an email to Reuters.
Observers believe the cuts in employees and operating equipment are being brought on by an activist investing campaign led by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp.
A press release from Elliott cited Hess’ “continuing underperformance” in recent years; the last time the chemical company posted a quarterly profit came in 2014.
The hedge fund also proposed to remove Chief Executive Officer John Hess from his family’s company unless he can turn around its fortunes.
Hess reportedly sold off a series of assets in response to the pressure from Elliott and other investors.
Hecker further wrote the moves should cut production costs to less than $10 a barrel by 2020.
— Crain's Houston (@CrainsHouston) January 17, 2018