Not The Real Thing Any More: Coca-Cola Cans Thousands Of Jobs Worldwide In Covid-19 Cuts.

Photo by Panos Sakalakis on Unsplash. What goes up must come down. Coca Cola sales are declining due to changing tastes and the Covid-19 economy.
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The Coca-Cola company released a press release Thursday announcing “strategic steps to reorganize its business for future growth.”

“The company today announced the creation of Platform Services, an organization that will work in service of operating units, categories and functions to create efficiencies and deliver capabilities at scale across the globe. This will include data management, consumer analytics, digital commerce and social/digital hubs.”

Platform Services is designed to improve and scale functional expertise and provide consistent service, including for governance and transactional work.

This will eliminate duplication of efforts across the company and is built to work in partnership with bottlers.

“The company’s nine new operating units will help streamline the organization by replacing current business units and groups. The operating units will be highly interconnected, with more consistency in structure and a focus on eliminating duplication of resources and scaling new products more quickly.”

It’s all good, and it sounds like they know what they are doing and are able to translate it into management-speak. But wait!

“The company’s structural changes will result in the reallocation of some people and resources, which will include voluntary and involuntary reductions in employees.”

“In order to minimize the impact from these structural changes, the company today announced a voluntary separation program that will give employees the option of taking a separation package, if eligible.”

“The program will provide enhanced benefits and will first be offered to approximately 4,000 employees in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.”

“Similar” severance packages are being offered to staff in other parts of the world, the company said in a press release. Coca-Cola has 86,000 employees globally.

Nice work (unemployment with benefits) if you can get it, but who gets it? Those employees “who have a most-recent hire date on or before Sept. 1, 2017.”

So actually everybody hired in the last three years is going to be offered “voluntary” termination. And if they refuse no doubt they will be offered involuntary termination, which is a win-win situation.

The company’s goes on to say that overall global severance programs are expected to incur expenses ranging from approximately $350 million to $550 million, but does not say how many employees are going to be fired. Some estimates range as high as 40%.

The move comes as many companies struggle to recover from a steep slide in sales because of COVID-19. Coca-Cola also has trimmed staff in recent years as more consumers avoided sweetened sodas, including the company’s iconic, namesake cola.

In addition Coca-Cola’s products are sold in many places where people gather, such as cinemas, airports, and sports events, which have been severely affected by Covid-19 closures.

To help get all this done, the Company this week fired its North American head of operations and appointed Alfredo Rivera at the helm of the North America unit, the largest of the Atlanta-based company’s operating groups by revenue. The unit includes the United States and Canada, but not Mexico.

The 59-year-old Rivera, a native of Honduras, has been president of Coke’s 40-country Latin America unit since 2016. He has been with the company 23 years and has introduced many innovative practices.




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