Coca-Cola to sack 350 workers in U.S. headquarters

Coca-Cola to sack 350 workers in U.S. headquarters

By Tunde Osho (with agency reports)

Beverage giant Coca-Cola has announced that it will be reducing the head count of workers by about 350 personnel over the next few months, most of which will come from its Atlanta, Georgia, United States headquarters.

The company is making the cuts from its North American business unit, which has about 8,000 employees overall, as part of ongoing changes in the shape of the business, according to Kent Landers, company spokesman.

The company has not stopped hiring, the spokesperson said. Instead, the changes include eliminating some jobs, as well as re-orienting others while adding new jobs “to meet the accelerated growth agenda of our business.”

The soft drinks maker announced about a year ago its plans to cut 1,200 positions from its corporate divisions, and that trimming are largely complete. When announced, the company said those moves were aimed at saving about $800m a year.

The cuts announced Monday are not part of that previous announcement.

However, they reflect a larger strategic shift in the business, Landers said. “We have been implementing a new operating model that returns ownership of our bottling system to local operators, increases our productivity and creates a performance-driven culture to accelerate the growth of our total beverage business in the United States and globally.”

The company said it is providing outplacement help to those who are losing their jobs.

Not counting bottlers, Coca-Cola employs about 5,000 people in Georgia, the majority of which are located in the Atlanta headquarters.

Coca-Cola’s 2017 full year revenue declined 15% to $35.4billion, which was blamed on structural headwinds related to the refranchising of its North American bottling operations that is now complete. The company’s performance is also being negatively impacted by consumer health concerns and changing in taste and preference which has shifted away from sugary high calorie drinks to less sugar and less calorie alternatives.