Coca-Cola Cutting 500 Jobs in Atlanta as Part of Restructuring

Friday, December 18th, 2020

The Coca-Cola Company announced it will eliminate "about 500 roles" in metro Atlanta, which is 11% of its roughly 4,200-employee workforce. Coca-Cola employed about 4,900 workers in metro Atlanta at the end of 2019. The Atlanta base includes corporate employees and North America operating unit employees.

Coca-Cola said it's cutting roughly 1,200 positions in the U.S. and a total of about 2,200 positions globally.

The reductions come as the Atlanta-based beverage giant plans to condense its U.S. business units from 17 to nine to help focus on eliminating duplication of resources and scaling new products more quickly.

Coca-Cola offered an enhanced benefits package to approximately 4,000 employees working for corporate or Coca-Cola North America in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico who were hired on or before Sept. 1, 2017. The company has about 10,800 employees total in that region. The voluntary program allowed employees to leave the company with a premium separation package before it considered layoffs.

Coca-Cola expects the severance program to result in expenses of $350 million to $550 million. The company is not disclosing the number of employees who accepted the severence package.

The company says it's "on a journey to transform how it operates so we can emerge stronger from the pandemic and accelerate our growth." The ongoing reorganization will continue into 2021.

Coca-Cola named a series of new leadership roles as part of its plans, including the hiring of Alfredo Rivera as president of Coca-Cola North America. Rivera, former president of the Latin America group, replaced Jim Dinkins, who retired on Aug. 24. North America is Coca-Cola America's largest unit.

"We are focused on ensuring that structure follows strategy, and this has been a guiding principle in people-related decisions," a Coca-Cola spokesperson said. "We have been intentional about ensuring decisions about roles are driven by future organizational needs."