Coca-Cola Begins Organizational Shift with Hundreds of Layoffs

By Erik Oster 

Back in April, Coca-Cola announced it would cut some 1,200 jobs as part of an organizational redesign aimed at cutting costs.

Today sources reached out to us claiming that the company has already started implementing such changes, beginning with hundreds of layoffs across offices. We reached out to Coca-Cola for a response and a representative referred us to the below statement, which the company originally made in April.

In February, we shared with our people that we are in the process of designing a new operating model to support our growth strategy as we transform our business into a true total beverage company. In late April, we shared that our work to implement a new lean corporate center will result in approximately 1,200 job reductions beginning in the second half of 2017 and carrying into 2018. These changes, while difficult, will help us create a faster, leaner and more agile corporate organization that is focused on doing fewer things better with a clear focus on serving our operating units around the world while also maintaining appropriate corporate governance for the company.

As has long been our culture at Coca-Cola, we do not take decisions about job impacts lightly and will treat our people with dignity, fairness and respect throughout this process. We are committed to moving quickly to build an organization that is agile and positioned for faster growth.

It’s unclear which departments were targeted or how this may impact the company’s marketing going forward. But the April announcement included confirmation that Coke sales dropped 11 percent from the previous year, with profits down 20 percent.

So it’s safe to say the company will move to cut operating expenses across the board, including its marketing efforts.

According to a report in yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Coca-Cola laid off more than 420 people in its Atlanta headquarters and two other area offices. That total included “59 people with corporate positions.”

Former COO James Quincey took over the chief executive officer role in May after moving to shake up the senior leadership team and name the company’s first chief growth officer.