Western Union Company has announced a global initiative to simplify its business processes, move decision-making closer to the marketplace, and leverage its cost structure. The multi-phased initiative includes a smaller, more streamlined management and changes to its global operations.

According to Western Union, the new management structure will result in fewer reporting layers across the organization. As part of the new structure, the number of executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents, and vice presidents will be reduced, and the company’s consumer bill payment business will report to Stewart Stockdale, president for Americas and executive vice president for global cards and global key accounts.

A new executive vice president position will be created, focusing on electronic channels and new customer segments, both consumer and business. The proposed changes to business operations include the closing, consolidation, and downsizing of facilities and the creation of a new regional operations center in Europe.

Most of the management changes will be effective in the next 30 days, while the changes to business operations are expected to occur over the next 18 months. If implemented as proposed, Western Union anticipates that the initiatives will result in the elimination of approximately 175 positions and the migration of the work performed by approximately 550 positions, subject to the necessary individual and collective employee information and consultation obligations required by local law for potentially affected employees.

Hikmet Ersek, COO and CEO-elect of Western Union, said: “We are committed to aligning our organization to support our key strategies and opportunities. The changes we are announcing today are difficult, because they impact people who have contributed to Western Union’s success. However, simplifying our structure will allow us to improve our productivity and customer focus, capitalize on growth opportunities, and enhance long-term financial returns for our shareholders.”