Coke wasn’t immediately available for comment, but the Associated Press reports that the firm is acting on a decision to cut its US distribution geographies from seven to three, to reflect a structure that worked in its foodservice business.
The cuts represent around 1% of jobs in Coca-Cola’s North American unit (covering the US and Canada) the AP reports, and a spokesman told the news outlet that 25% of the job losses would occur at Coke’s home in Atlanta.
‘Areas that must be improved’
According to the AP, Coke told employees in a February memo that there were “areas that must be improved” at its North American bottling operations, which it bought from Coca-Cola Enterprises in in late 2010.
Speaking to analysts as Coke reported its Q4 2012 results last month, Coke CFO Gary Fayard said: “As part of our previously announced global productivity and reinvestment program, we are reorganizing our Coca-Cola Refreshments business in the US to align itself and operating functions around three geographies [East, Central, West].”
Greater productivity in North America
“We take this action…to improve our processes and systems and to ensure greater operating effectiveness and productivity across our North American operations,” he added.
Kent reminded investor and analyst on the same February 12 call that Coke had organized itself around three major operating businesses from 2013.
These are Coca-Cola International (Europe, Pacific and Eurasia and Africa), Coca-Cola Americas (North America and Latin America) and its bottling investment group (BIG), which oversees company-owned bottling operations in North America.