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August 13, 2013

US: Heinz cuts 600 jobs in US and Canada

Heinz is to lay off 600 workers across the US and Canada - with over half the cuts at its HQ in Pittsburgh.

By Dean Best

Heinz is to lay off 600 workers across the US and Canada – with over half the cuts at its HQ in Pittsburgh.

The ketchup and baked beans maker, now owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway fund and private-equity firm 3G Capital, is to axe the office jobs as part of a “streamlined structure” for its operations in North America. Some 350 of the affected posts are in Pittsburgh.

A Heinz spokesperson said the “difficult actions” will “better position” the company to “fund our next chapter of growth”.

The spokesperson added: “Our new organisational structure will simplify, strengthen and leverage the company’s global scale, while enabling faster decision making, increased accountability, and accelerated growth.”

Berkshire Hathaway and 3G struck a deal to pay US$28bn for Heinz in February – the largest-ever takeover in the food sector. The acquisition was completed in June and there has been a series of senior management changes, including the appointment of former Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees as CEO.

Hees was brought in as Burger King CEO when 3G acquired the US fast food chain in 2010. 3G and Berkshire Hathaway each own 50% of Heinz, with the private-equity firm running the business.

Click here for our detailed coverage of the Heinz takeover, published in February.

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