The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) reported to the State of Georgia that is plans to lay off 53 people on February 28. The layoffs include 47 employees at 1 Coca-Cola Plaza in Atlanta, five employees at 121 Baker Street (also in Atlanta), and one employee at 1150 Sanctuary Parkway in Alpharetta.
According to a Coca-Cola spokesperson, “These notices, while difficult, are related to an ongoing global effort to improve and increase productivity across our business in order to accelerate growth.”
If history is any indicator, Coca-Cola has been doing a lot to increase productivity and growth. In all, Coca-Cola filed six Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) reports with the Georgia Department of Economic Development in 2017, affecting 600 workers.
Previous Coca-Cola Layoffs in 2017
In April 2017, Coca-Cola announced a major restructuring effort after reporting underwhelming first-quarter results. The beverage behemoth said it would cut 1,200 corporate jobs worldwide. This translates into a 22% reduction of its corporate staff of around 5,500 (or one percent of its total global workforce). The layoffs are expected to help Coca-Cola save around $800.0 million annually.
To that end, Coca-Cola announced it was laying off more than 400 employees at three Atlanta locations, effective July 15, 2017. This included 334 positions at its 1 Coca-Cola Plaza headquarters, 59 employees at 303 Peachtree Street, NE. and 28 workers at 384 Northyards Blvd, NW.
In an effort to be even more efficient, Coca-Cola announced 179 more layoffs in Atlanta in the second half of the year. This included an additional 128 employees at 1 Coca-Cola Plaza, 46 employees at its Peachtree Street location, and five workers at its Northyards Blvd, NW location. These layoffs were effective December 31, 2017.
The 653 layoffs announced in Atlanta only account for half of the proposed 1,200 layoffs. This means an additional 600 Coca-Cola employees will be looking for new jobs in the first half of 2018. And, judging by the competitive environment and stiff competition from PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) (another beverage company announcing layoffs), it’s quite possible that Coca-Cola’s efficiency efforts will lead to even more layoffs in the second half of 2018.
“WARN Website Data,” Georgia Department of Economic Development, last accessed January 4, 2018.
“The Coca-Cola Company Reports First Quarter 2017 Results,” The Coca-Cola Co, April 25, 2017.
“Comcast, Coca-Cola kick off 2018 with Atlanta layoffs,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, January 3, 2018.