The Coca-Cola Company announced today that it would be offering voluntary buyouts for some employees as it implements a restructuring in order to refocus its beverage portfolio.
In a statement, they said that these changes will include “voluntary and involuntary reductions in employees.” Coca-Cola said that “separation packages” will be offered to around 4,000 employees in the United States (including Puerto Rico) as well as Canada and that they plan to roll out similar programs around the world. They did not give the total number of employees expected to leave the company on a voluntary or involuntary basis but said that these buyouts are expected to reduce any future layoffs. The total number of severances are expected to total an estimated $350 million to $550 million.
“We have been on a multi-year journey to transform our organization,” said Chairman and CEO James Quincey in the statement. “The changes in our operating model will shift our marketing to drive more growth and put execution closer to customers and consumers while prioritizing a portfolio of strong brands and a disciplined innovation framework. As we implement these changes, we’re continuing to evolve our organization, which will include significant changes in the structure of our workforce.”
In addition to the buyouts and possible layoffs, they will also be restructuring from 17 business units to nine operating units. They will be focused on Coca-Cola, Sparkling Flavors, Hydration, Sports, Coffee and Tea, Nutrition, Juice, Milk and Plant, and Emerging Categories.
This news comes as Quincey recently called the second quarter of 2020 the toughest and most complex in the company’s history, and said that the pandemic caused them to accelerate this restructuring, which it is calling “Beverages for Life.”
“We are already well on our way down this path and seeing good results,” he said last month. “The pandemic is prompting us to move even faster.”
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