MADRID, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Spanish telecoms group Telefonica on Wednesday said it hoped to make savings worth 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) by centralising the majority of its business units under a single manager based in Madrid.
The move strengthens the role of Chief Operating Officer Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, in the position since September 2012 and seen by analysts as a possible heir to Chairman Cesar Alierta.
Alvarez-Pallete will oversee the Spanish, Latin American and European businesses as well as commercial strategy and global resources where Telefonica hopes to achieve most of the savings.
The new structure also brings back to Spain the headquarters of the Latin American business just a year after they were moved to Brazil.
The transfer had been widely seen as a preliminary step towards a listing of the Latin American unit until the plan was shelved last year. ($1 = 0.7317 euros) (Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)