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Rolls-Royce operations chief to leave in streamlining

(Reuters) – Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (RR.L) Chief Operating Officer Simon Kirby will leave the company in June as the British manufacturer looks to streamline its business, it said in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: – Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, poses for a portrait at the company’s aerospace engineering and development site in Bristol, Britain, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Kirby joined the group in 2016 from British high-speed rail project HS2 to take up a newly created post and was tasked with a “group-wide transformation agenda”.

“As we update our organization and move to more empowered business units with a much leaner center, it has become clear that we no longer need the Group Chief Operating Officer role for which Simon Kirby was recruited in autumn 2016”, Chief Executive Warren East said in the memo.

East has been trying to reshape Rolls during his three years in charge after declines in some of its older aero-engine programs and plunging demand for oil equipment.

“I want to thank Simon for his huge contribution to reducing central costs as part of the transformation program, despite in doing so, working himself out of his own role”, East said.

Reporting by Kate Holton in London; Writing by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter

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