Coca-Cola Plans To Eliminate 500 Atlanta Jobs, 1,200 Jobs Nationwide

Company Representatives Say The Plan Pre-Dated The Pandemic And The Virus Only Served To Hasten The Plan’s Implementation.

The Center Square [By Nyamekye Daniel]-

The Coca-Cola Co. will cut 500 jobs in Atlanta as part of its reorganization plan.

Representatives for the company, headquartered in Atlanta, said the plan was orchestrated before the response to the coronavirus first caused sweeping business closures and marketing changes in March.

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

Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO James Quincey first announced the plan to reduce the company from 17 business units to nine in August. The company offered in late August voluntary severance packages worth between $350 million to $550 million to about 4,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, who were hired as far back Sept. 1, 2017.

Coca-Cola now plans to cut 2,200 jobs globally and about 1,200 jobs in the U.S. The Atlanta reductions would account for nearly 12% of the city’s 4,200 positions. The company had a global workforce of 86,200 people at the end of 2019.

Coca-Cola will not disclose how many employees accepted the voluntary separations or headcount changes to its units.

The cuts, however, would not impact the 225 bottling partners that help makeup the overall Coca-Cola system of 700,000 people worldwide.

“We have been on a multiyear journey to transform our organization,” Quincey said in August. “The changes in our operating model will shift our marketing to drive more growth and put execution closer to customers and consumers while prioritizing a portfolio of strong brands and a disciplined innovation framework. As we implement these changes, we’re continuing to evolve our organization, which will include significant changes in the structure of our workforce.”

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