Coca-Cola to cut up to 1,800 jobs

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To save $3 billion annually by 2019, Coke will prune its Corporate, North America and International operations

Coca-Cola is to cut up to 1,800 jobs at its operations across the globe as part of its plan to slash $3 billion in costs.

The announcement comes as a new global chief marketing officer is set to take the reins and as Coke faces ailing sales and increasing pressure from health and anti-sugar campaigners.

In October, Coke said it was planning on saving $3 billion in annual costs by 2019, a target that would include job cuts. While the group this week confirmed the number of cuts, it said that it did not have specifics about how and where redundancies might affect marketing departments.

The 1,600 to 1,800 job cuts will affect Coke’s Atlanta headquarters, as well as international offices. Coca-Cola said that "while different parts of the business will announce changes at various times," it had identified "positions in Corporate, Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola International that will be eliminated in the coming months."

Muhtar Kent, the group’s chief executive, said in October that cost-cutting changes would also include streamlining the business and launching more targeted brand investments.

The same month saw the appointment of Marcos De Quinto as global chief marketing officer. De Quinto will replace incumbent Joe Tripodi, who is retiring and standing down at the end of next month.

Coke said in a statement issued today: "As part of our recently announced, multi-year productivity initiatives, we are redesigning our operating model to streamline and simplify our structure and accelerate the growth of our global business. As we have acknowledged previously, this redesign work will result in impacts to jobs across our global operations.

"We do not take decisions about job impacts lightly. We have committed that we will ensure fair, equitable and compassionate treatment of our people throughout this process."

The soft drinks giant reported a 14% decline in net income to $2.1 billion for the July-September period last year.

Kent has implemented strict controls on budgeting which mean marketing departments have to justify spend campaign by campaign, rather than having spend allotted on an annual basis.

This article first appeared on marketingmagazine.co.uk.

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