While being a huge global entity with more than 3777 branches in around 36 countries, in 2008 we became famous due to our massive employee layoffs.In 2008, we became the focus of attention again, but this time it was not due to our global performance, but because of our stand to lay off 52,000 employees, to improve the value of the bank in the eyes of the investors. Our decision was met with much critique, while some segments in the industry saw it as an inevitable plan of action needed to save the bank. Our CEO, Vikram Pandit was credited with making one of the biggest layoff decisions in the history of the sector, second only to the bloodbath in 1993 by IBM. In 2008, this layoff was equal to the number of total jobs lost in the entire U.S. financial service sector. We certainly made history that year.
As Citibank was the second largest entity in the private sector, this huge layoff had a major impact on the economy. With only 27,000 staff employees in 2005, the number was likely reduced as the bank had already made a layoff of 23,000 which equaled around 6% of its global workforce, before the final announcement to lay off 52,000 employees by the bank. We termed this layoff as a near cut, which signified that more job cuts were to be expected in the upcoming years, a prediction which came true. The reason for this drastic change was shared with the public, and we announced that our aim was to only have a global workforce of 300,000, which will make it 75,000 less than what it was a year before. We wanted to reduce our operating costs to an estimated $50 billion in a year, from an amount of $63 billion.
In spite of our efforts to reduce costs, investors remained unimpressed. We experienced a 7% drop in the value of bank shares, which amounted to a stock price which is 70% reduced in this year. The condition has never been this worse since 1996, because of the billions of losses in the past months due to mortgages.
But there were still some, who recognized the need for layoffs. Some experts stated that the lukewarm response of investors was due to the fact that they expected further job cuts in order to align the costs with the revenues. These predictions proved to be true, with the continuous layoffs done by the bank, with the most important one done in 2012 by the then CEO Michael Corbet. He laid off 11,000 global employees to ensure a workforce of 260,000 employees. But history was made in 2005 with the biggest layoff in the history of the bank itself.