Atlanta-based Coca-Cola offering buyouts to 4,000 employees as part of restructuring

Coca-Cola Fast Facts

ATLANTA — Atlanta-based Coca-Cola announced Friday thousands of voluntary buyouts for employees as part of a major corporate restructuring.

The buyouts will first be offered to 4,000 employees in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada with a hire date on or before Sept. 1, 2017.

Coca-Cola plans to offer the program in other countries where it operates.

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The company said its “voluntary separation program” program would help reduce the number of layoffs.

“The company’s structural changes will result in the reallocation of some people and resources, which will include voluntary and involuntary reductions in employees. The company is working on this next stage of design and will share more information in the future,” Coca-Cola said in a release.

Total severance packages globally are expected to be between $350 million and $550 million. Coca-Cola has 86,000 employees worldwide.

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Friday’s announcement included operational changes focused on regional and local levels. The company has 17 business units that will be reduced to nine under the restructuring.

“We have been on a multi-year journey to transform our organization,” Chairman and CEO James Quincey said in a release. “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.”

Like other major companies, Coca-Cola has been feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of its sales come from stadiums and movie theaters, which have been closed for months.

The company’s revenue plunged 28% in the second quarter, but the company thinks the worst could be behind it, the Associated Press reported.

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