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2,500 jobs cut following Kraft Heinz merger


August 12, 2015
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Aug. 12, 2015 – Kraft Heinz says it is cutting about 2,500 jobs as part of its plan to slash costs after the food companies combined.

Spokesman Michael Mullen says affected workers are in Canada and the U.S., where about 700 of the layoffs coming from Northfield, Ill., where Kraft had been headquartered.

The company would not specify where other cuts were taking place but saidd that all the jobs were salaried. It said none of the job cuts involved factory workers.

The Kraft Heinz Co. said it had a total of around 46,600 employees before the cuts. That included about 1,900 in Northfield.

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Hees had already overseen cost-cutting at Heinz since the ketchup maker was taken over in 2013 in a prior partnership between 3G and Berkshire. That means the cuts announced today mostly affect people on the Kraft side of the business.

Together, the two U.S. food giants own brands including Jell-O, Heinz baked beans and Velveeta that are facing sales challenges amid
changing tastes. Their combination was nevertheless seen as attractive because of the opportunity to save hundreds of millions of dollars a year by combining functions like manufacturing and distribution. Executives say they expect to save $1.5 billion in annual costs by 2017.

“This new structure eliminates duplication to enable faster decision-making, increased accountability and accelerated growth,” said Mullen, adding that the savings will free up money to be invested back into the company’s products.

— With files from Candice Choi, The Associated Press