According to latest insider information, charging infrastructure operator Allego is cutting a significant number of jobs. The offices in the Benelux countries and Germany are particularly affected.
According to sources of our German colleagues of electrive.net, Allego is parting with half of its workforce in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Germany. Allego currently has offices in Arnhem, Mechelen (Belgium), Berlin, Erkrath, Paris and London, although the latter two are apparently not affected by the cuts. Allego says it has approximately 220 employees.
The job cuts have been prompted by the wide-ranging restructuring that has some departments almost completely outsourced. The departments that will remain include sales, the team responsible for operations, the implementation team responsible for the construction and planning of new stations, and customer service. In other words, jobs with functions essential to the core business. Other functions such as human resources, marketing, communication and project managers coordinating between departments will be affected by the job cuts. The German office in Erkrath near Düsseldorf is even about to close.
When electrive contacted the company, Allego confirmed the job cuts. “As part of the realignment and focus, jobs will also be cut,” said Ulf Schulte, Managing Director DACH and Managing Director of Allego GmbH. “Our goal is to survive in the market in the long term, so we must address all cost structures.” However, he did not want to name an exact number of the affected sites but did confirm that the Erkrath site would be closed.
“We have also invested heavily in employees for the development of new business models, products and especially our IT backends of the ‘EV Cloud’,” Schulte continued. “Unfortunately, however, we had to realise that the market hasn’t developed that quickly after all and that the company’s results fell short of expectations. Therefore, since the end of last year, we have been in the process of realigning Allego Group.
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One thing is clear: the decision has nothing to do with the Corona pandemic. Internally, the restructuring programme was apparently initiated at the end of February – even before coronavirus social restrictions affected business for charging providers.
As recently as the end of March, Schulte had told electrive that the expansion of the charging infrastructure at Allego was continuing despite the corona crisis. “We are also feeling the effects of the crisis,” Schulte said at the time. However, he referred this statement to the decline in charging processes (around 40 per cent less in March) but not to more profound effects on the company.
However, in December 2019 there was a change at Allego executive level: At the urging of the owner, French investor Meridiam since 2018, Anja van Niersen moved to the Supervisory Board. She was succeeded as CEO position by energy manager Mathieu Bonnet. In the memo on top management, van Niersen, who co-founded Allego in 2013, said: “Without responsibility for day-to-day operations, I have a better opportunity to work closely with the company’s management to identify international business opportunities and develop the organization in line with its strategy and the pace of the market.”
This development probably amounted to one thing: a radical streamlining of the organisation.
Allego operates numerous charging stations in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. With Ultra-E or MEGA-E, the company is building up its own networks of high-power chargers, among other things. Allego also offers various charging solutions for private customers and companies, for example for charging at the workplace. GoingElectric’s Ladesäulen des Verbunds Allego (map of European charging sites in German with forums in English) lists almost 2,100 charging points for Allego at 645 locations in Europe – of which only four are in the UK, the rest in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. In the Netherlands, however, Allego still operates an AC charging network with what the company says are 15,000 public charging points. These apparently either not registered with GoingElectric or registered under a different operator.
Allego will most likely not want to change the basic business model. “The focus for all core markets is on the one hand on the development of the HPC charging network MEGA-E”, says Germany’s Managing Director Schulte. “On the other hand, it is the fleet business, where we offer solutions for home and office charging in all its complexity.” This is a task that Allego now wants to achieve with a highly integrated workforce – and with rapidly growing competition.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany
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