Building materials company Boral is planning to cut 700 jobs from all levels of the company to reduce costs.
New chief executive Mike Kane says his 100-day operation review identified high overhead costs which the company cannot afford during tougher economic conditions.
Boral says 700 staff will go from functional, support and management positions, with 200 of those redundancies having already occurred late last year, and the rest expected to be completed by March.
The company says the affected employees will receive redundancy payments and outplacement services to assist them in finding another job.
Boral says the changes should save the company around $90 million a year, with around $37 million of savings in the current financial year.
Mr Kane says the changes should not affect customer service, as the redundancies are concentrated in back office, managerial and support activities.
"I've been looking for ways to enable Boral to be more responsive to our external markets and customers, and to ensure Boral remains competitive at a time when the building and construction sector is facing serious challenges, especially in Australia," he said.
Mr Kane says doing nothing was not a serious alternative, with shareholders unhappy about a recent cut in dividends.
"Doing nothing would have been tragic for Boral and tragic for the business," he argued.
"I think there's an expectation in the marketplace that Boral address its problems - we're trying to address those problems.
"I said we would look at capacity rationalisation, and we closed Warren Ponds.
I said we would look at overheads and overhead costs, and we've announced redundancies." Several of the departures are taking place at the senior executive level, with cement division manager Mike Beardsell, building products manager Bryan Tisher and human resources director Robin Town all leaving the company.
Boral expects to cut around 1,000 jobs in total from the company during the current financial year due to restructuring and outsourcing.
At the company's AGM in November, its chairman Bob Every said the firm had already shed around 800 workers from its building products division in the 2012 financial year - around 23 per cent of its workforce in that division.
Mr Kane says the latest announcement should spell the end of major job shedding at the firm.
"We've made the cuts that we want to make," he said.
"There could be ones and twos here and there as we go through the shakeout process, but they won't be significant or of this magnitude." However, the union representing many Boral workers says it is unhappy about the lack of consultation over the job losses.
Australian Workers' Union national secretary Paul Howes says Boral needs to spell out exactly which jobs will go.
"We're very disappointed the company unilaterally made this decision this morning, without any consultation, without any negotiations," he said.
"You have thousands of Boral workers across the country scratching their heads wondering if they are the ones that are going to be targetted.
"It is being done this way to lead to a bump in the share price in the share market, and they have been successful in that regard." Boral shares had jumped almost 10 per cent to $4.77 by 12:38pm (AEDT) after the announcement.