MillerCoors announces restructuring plan

MillerCoors said today it is eliminating approximately 350 salaried positions across the company, the latest in a series of moves it has made in an effort to get its business back on track.

The reorganization follows several years of volume declines amid a challenging industry, including a tough first half of 2018. It comes as a recognition that the company’s organization and cost base are now out of line with the scale of its business and increasing costs.

“We are moving quickly and decisively to get our business back on track,” MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley said today in an email to distributors. “To accomplish this, we know we need the financial flexibility to invest in our brands and solutions at the right level, quickly capitalize on new opportunities, and maintain a robust marketplace presence. Our current fixed cost base limits our ability to do all this.”

The last time MillerCoors did a corporate reorganization was in 2013.

Of the 350 salaried positions MillerCoors is seeking to eliminate, approximately 150 are roles that had been held open or were cut earlier this year, the email said. MillerCoors also is offering a voluntary severance program as part of the restructuring.

“We’re committed to handling this restructuring with speed, dignity and respect for all involved and without marketplace disruption,” Hattersley said in the email.

Since early July MillerCoors has taken a number of actions as it focuses on getting the business back on track. It announced a search for a new CMO. It appointed a new leader to oversee the conversion of its breweries to an integrated system. It decided to stop producing Two Hats so it could divert resources to other parts of its portfolio. It appointed new marketing agencies for Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s. Just last week it announced that in 2019 it will roll out a new lineup of flavored beverages called Cape Line.

MillerCoors also has emphasized that it is working to turn around its largest brand, Coors Light.

“While we know we still have some challenges ahead," Hattersley said in the note, "we’re establishing a realistic, achievable plan for 2019 to put us on the path to long-term sustainable growth."