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Kraft Heinz to cut about 200 jobs, including some in Chicago

March 27, 2017
Food & Drink

Kraft Heinz confirmed Thursday that it’s cutting about 200 salaried jobs in the U.S. and Canada, including some in Chicago.

Spokesman Michael Mullen said in an email that all affected employees were notified Thursday and that most would be gone from the company next week. He wouldn’t say exactly how many Chicago jobs would be cut.

It’s yet another round of mass layoffs for Kraft Heinz, the food conglomerate backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital. Considered the industry leader in cost cutting, Kraft Heinz has been rumored to be on the prowl for a major acquisition in recent months. Last month, Unilever, maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Lipton Tea, rejected Kraft Heinz’s $143 billion takeover bid.

Kraft Heinz, co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh, isn’t done cutting. Last year, the company eliminated 1,000 jobs, putting it more than halfway toward its goal of eventually slashing 5,150 jobs. The company announced last month it would cut $1.7 billion in expenses by the end of the year, up from the previous target of $1.5 billion.

Last August, Kraft Heinz cut about 200 jobs and that round of layoffs also affected the Chicago area’s workforce, which totals about 2,000 including workers at the company’s research and development facility in Glenview. In 2015, Kraft Heinz laid off about 700 workers at Kraft’s former headquarters in Northfield before moving its offices to the Aon Center.

“As a result of our business unit consolidation in August 2016, Kraft Heinz is now operating more efficiently and effectively, allowing the Company to reinvest in our brands and our business in ways that benefit our consumers,” Mullen said in the statement.

Those affected by the latest round of layoffs will be offered severance packages and outplacement services, Mullen said.

Kraft split into two publicly traded companies in 2012, forming Deerfield-based Mondelez International. The spun-off North American grocery business, Kraft Foods Group, later merged with Heinz to become Kraft Heinz.

Crain’s first reported the layoffs.

By Greg Trotter

Source: Chicago Tribune

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