A restructuring dubbed "Project Optimus," that has taken five months to complete, will slice 230 jobs from Synovus and its local banks, the Columbus-based firm said Wednesday.
That's nearly a third of the 650 positions the regional bankholding firm plans to eliminate from its five-state work force in coming months as the cost-cutting and efficiency effort unfolds.
The 650 jobs represent roughly 9 percent of Synovus' overall employment base of 7,100.
Locally, the 230 cuts will pare down the company's current 1,644-employee presence by 14 percent.
"It's real important for us to be up front with anybody affected," Richard Anthony, Synovus chairman and chief executive officer, told news reporters during a mid-afternoon conference call.
"We will be talking directly with those individuals over the next several days and weeks to let them know if their particular area is affected," he said. "We also are highly sensitive about treating people right in this process. We have a culture that centers around people and the value of each individual."
The job cuts are part of a broader effort by the company to restructure its entire operation, making it more efficient and retooling it in a way that will make consumers want to bank with it. The bank used a consultant, Harvest Earnings Group, to help it launch Project Optimus in early April.
Synovus solicited ideas from its work force, receiving more than 4,000. Of those, 700 were converted into viable proposals that will be implemented over the next two years. The company estimates it will save $50 million annually with the efficiency moves, while it expects to generate an additional $25 million in revenue from the new ideas.
"Throughout this we have concentrated totally on improving the customer experience and preserving customer responsiveness at the local level, at the bank market level," Anthony said.
READ MORE ABOUT THE SYNOVUS RESTRUCTURING IN THE PRINT EDITION OF THURSDAY'S LEDGER-ENQUIRER OR ON THE WEB AT WWW.LEDGER-ENQUIRER.COM