Big Layoffs Reportedly Coming At Atlanta-Based Coke

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Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is reportedly expected to announce it’s cutting between 1,000 and 2,000 positions globally in the next few weeks, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.  

Many of those positions are expected to be in the Atlanta headquarters.

Coke didn’t respond to emails from WABE for confirmation or comment, but earlier this year the company announced plans to expand a five-year cost cutting program to $3 billion from $1 billion in February.

“Certainly on the carbonated side, business is in some cases stagnant,” says Doug Bowman, who teaches marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Consumption of coke’s soft drinks has been falling in North America and Europe and flatlining in Latin America, but Bowman says the company has done a good job of building other products like its Minute Maid and Simply juices, bottled water, sports drinks and even milk.

Still, Coke posted a 14 percent drop in third quarter profits this year, and in October warned it would miss not only this year’s profit target, but likely next year’s as well.

Bowman points to struggling overseas markets as part of the reason business isn’t booming like it did in year’s past.

“It’s probably difficult to business in Russia these days,” he says. “China obviously is contracting. And so as a larger proportion of their business is done in those markets, they’re obviously going to be exposed to the ups and downs of the economies.”

The layoffs are expected to come in the first few weeks of January.