Coca-Cola will cut thousands of jobs and reduce the number of business units as it faces declining beverage sales in the coronavirus pandemic.Coke said the job cuts will come in the form of voluntary and involuntary reductions, reported CNN. It plans to first offer buyouts to 4,000 employees in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and then offer a similar voluntary programme in other countries. The number of people who take the buyout will reduce the number of involuntary layoffs, the company said.
Coke did not say how many jobs could be lost in total but said global severance expenses could range from 350 million dollars to 550 million dollars.
As of December 31, 2019, Coke had 86,200 employees of which about 10,100 were located in the United States, said CNN on Friday (local time).
The company plans to reduce its number of operating units from their current total of 17 businesses in four geographies to nine operating units in those regions.
Coke is focusing on its most popular segments that include its main Coca-Cola line and products like sports drinks, coffees and teas. It also wants to expand in growing categories such as sparkling water and plant-based drinks.
Meanwhile, it has outlined plans to to kill more ‘zombie brands’ or those that are not growing. For instance, the company discontinued its Odwalla smoothie brand in July.
In Coca-Cola’s second quarter, which ended on June 26, the company saw sales drop 28 per cent to 7.2 billion dollars.