Coca-Cola to Offer Early Departures to 4,000 North America

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Coca-Cola Co. plans to offer early departure packages to nearly 40 percent of its North American workforce in order to cut costs due to changes in the soft drink industry.About 4,000 employees in the region will be offered packages with benefits if they agree to leave, the soda maker said in a statement Friday. A similar program will follow in other countries and there will also be an unspecified number of layoffs, the company said.

The Atlanta-based company is downsizing its workforce amid continued challenges for businesses selling sugary drinks as consumers cut calories. Bottled water also faces new hurdles amid growing environmental concerns. Beverage sales face uncertainty in the coming months as stadiums remain without spectators in many countries and bars and restaurants have restricted their activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coca-Cola, which had around 86,000 employees worldwide at the end of last year, also announced its intention to reorganize its business, including creating new business units for regional and local operations that will work with the teams. marketing by category. The company will reduce the number of its units to nine from 17, and expects global severance programs to cost around US $ 350 million to US $ 550 million.

Shares were up 1 percent to US $ 48.70 at 9:35 a.m. in New York. They had fallen 13 percent this year through Thursday’s close, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 7.9 percent.

Major companies across industries have announced tens of thousands of job cuts in recent weeks after economies emerged from closures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, from global airlines to Boeing Co. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said on an earnings call last month that he expected the global economy to take two or three years to recover.



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