USA – The Coca-Cola Company has announced that it will cut 2,200 jobs worldwide including 1,200 in the US through buyouts and layoffs, as part of its restructuring plan accelerated by the ongoing pandemic

This closely follows the company’s August announcement that it would offer voluntary separation packages to about 4,000 employees in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Coca-Cola, which had roughly 86,200 employees at the end of last year, has not disclosed the number of employees who have accepted the package nor given details about the timeline for the jobs, according to Reuters.

The Atlanta-based company expects the recent job cuts to result in annual savings of between US$350 million and US$550 million.

“Our transformational work was well underway prior to the pandemic,” the company said. “The pandemic was not a cause for these changes, but it has been a catalyst for the company to move faster.”

These job losses are the latest round of cuts from Coca-Cola. In 2017, the company announced it would cut 1,200 jobs. Two years earlier, the company said it would reduce its headcount by at least 1,600 white-collar jobs globally, according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, this latest restructuring is much deeper than prior efforts, but is aimed to put Coca-Cola’s operations on firmer ground as consumer tastes evolve and businesses it serves rebound from the coronavirus.

The beverage company has been one of hardest-hit companies during the pandemic, with about half of its sales coming from outside the home.

“The pandemic was not a cause for these changes, but it has been a catalyst for the company to move faster.”

The Coca-Cola Company

Volumes have plummeted as stadiums, movie theatres, parks and restaurants have closed or seen their operations sharply curtailed as a result of the coronavirus.

The company has also been actively scaling back its beverage portfolio to focus on brands that are growing and have the potential to achieve a large scale.

To this end it has announced the retirement of several brands including Tab diet soda, Odwalla, Feisty Cherry, Coke Life and Zico Coconut Water.

In a bid to make the beverage giant more relevant with changing consumer tastes while positioning the 128-year-old company for the future, Coca-Cola has moved into faster-growing areas by acquiring Topo Chico Hard Seltzer with plans to launch it into Latin America in 2021, as the trend for low-alcohol drinks continues to proliferate.

But beyond the acquisitions and new product launches, Coca-Cola has been transforming its operations to make itself more nimble and responsive to the market.

As part of its restructuring, the company has said it would reduce its 17 business units to nine to eliminate duplication and get products to market more quickly.

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