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ING cuts jobs as exhausted boss quits

Murdoch plots layoffs 2.0 at interactive unit

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Dutch bank ING is cutting headcount and renegotiating IT contracts in a desperate effort to cut costs.

ING is looking to slash 7,000 full-time jobs in order to save €1.1bn a year by 2010. Just over a third of this will come from paying less salaries, with the rest coming from lower costs for its head office, cutting the cost of its sponsorship of the Renault Formula 1 team and renegotiating IT contracts.

ING also said goodbye to its chief executive Michel Tilmant yesterday. The official statement said he would go "in light of the extraordinary developments over the past few months and given his personal condition". An ING spokesman told the Times that the last few months had taken their toll on Tilmant and he was exhausted.

ING shares have fallen 70 per cent in the last six months - it accepted a €10bn bailout from the Dutch government in October. Tilmant will be replaced by current chairman of the supervisory board Jan Hommen.

In other news, Murdoch's Fox Interactive Media - which runs MySpace, Photobucket and other News Corp websites - is laying off five per cent of staff. This means 100 people will go, The Wall Street Journal reported. A spokeswoman for MySpace denied any job cuts at the social networking site.

Job cuts at News Corp UK websites including Times Online are expected in the next few weeks. ®

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