Coca-Cola to lay off 2,200 workers worldwide as Covid-19 hit business

Coca-Cola soft drinks at a supermarket aisle

The Coca-Cola Company has said that it was laying off 2,200 workers, or 17 per cent of its global workforce, as part of a larger restructuring aimed at paring down its business units and brands.

The Atlanta-based company said on Thursday that around half of the layoffs will occur in the US, where Coke employs around 10,400 people. Coke employed 86,200 people worldwide at the end of 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic has hammered Coke's business, as sales at places like stadiums and movie theaters dried up due to lockdowns. Its revenue fell 9 per cent to USD 8.7 billion in the July-September period.

The downturn forced the company to accelerate a restructuring that was already underway.

"We've been challenging legacy ways of doing business and the pandemic helped us realize we could be bolder in our efforts," Coke Chairman and CEO James Quincey said during an earnings call in October.

Coke is reducing its brands by half to 200. It shed multiple slow-selling brands this year, including Tab, Zico coconut water, Diet Coke Fiesty Cherry and Odwalla juices.

The company said it will use the savings to invest in growing brands like Minute Maid and Simply juices and fund the launch of new products like Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Coca-Cola Energy and Aha sparkling water.

Coke is also reducing its business segments from 17 to nine.

It said the severance programmes will cost between USD 350 million to USD 550 million.

The company began offering voluntary buyouts to employees in August. Coke wouldn't disclose how many employees took those offers.

The layoffs won't impact Coke's bottlers, which are largely independent. Including bottlers, the company employs more than 700,000 people worldwide.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel