Budweiser Announces Massive Layoffs

December 8th, 2008 | Posted by Jay Brooks

Anheuser-Busch announced today their intention to layoff a number of A-B employees (though the press release is on the InBev website, not A-B’s nor the new ABIB website). The plan is to cut around “1,400 U.S. salaried positions in its beer-related divisions, affecting about 6 percent of the company’s total U.S. workforce,” three-quarters of which were at A-B HQ in St. Louis. Also, 250 vacant position will now not be filled and 415 independent contractors will also be terminated.

Anheuser-Busch InBev

From the press release:

“To keep the business strong and competitive, this is a necessary but difficult move for the company,” said David A. Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch. “We will assist in the transition for these employees as much as possible. The people of Anheuser-Busch dedicate themselves to the business, and we appreciate all of their contributions.” The company will provide employees severance pay and pension benefits based on age and years of service. Employees also will be offered additional benefits during the transition, including outplacement services.

The announced workforce reductions are in addition to the more than 1,000 U.S. salaried employees company-wide who accepted the company’s voluntary enhanced retirement program, which closed November 14 and provided special benefits for eligible employees retiring by the end of 2008. The retirements were part of planned cost reductions of [$1 billion dollars US], called project Blue Ocean, announced by Anheuser-Busch in June 2008. At that time, the company announced plans to reduce its company-wide U.S. full-time salaried workforce of 8,600 by 10 to 15 percent before the year end. The company’s other Blue Ocean cost reductions remain on track. Bargaining unit employees at the company’s 12 U.S. breweries are unaffected by the reductions announced today.

“Managing our costs is important in building and maintaining a successful business, especially in a challenging economy,” said Peacock. “We are pleased with our U.S. beer sales, we will continue to invest in growing our brands and we will always look for ways to become more efficient. Decisions like this are never easy, but they will ensure the long-term success for
Anheuser-Busch and our employees.”

The company anticipates that the aggregate pre-tax expense associated with the reduction will be approximately 197 million USD. Approximately 150 million USD of this expense will arise from severance arrangements with terminated employees and the remainder will arise from enhancements in the pension benefits required by the terms of the defined benefit plan because the terminations are occurring within three years of the change of control of the company. The company anticipates that cash expenditures from the reduction will be approximately 213 million USD. The plans announced today are an integral part of the at least 1.5 billion USD in annual synergies identified by InBev when it announced its combination with Anheuser-Busch in July. The company is confident in its ability to achieve against this synergies projection by 2011.

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15 Responses to “Budweiser Announces Massive Layoffs”

  1. Good Burp Says:

    It’s a sad situation. We knew it would happen. But the timing sucks.

  2. Budweiser announces 1400 layoffs | Beer Utopia Says:

    […] Anheuser-Busch, has announced that it will eliminate “1,400 U.S. salaried positions in its beer-related divisions, affecting about 6 percent of the company’s total U.S. workforce.” Plus, 250 vacant positions will not be filled and 415 independent contractors will also be cut. This is in addition to 1000+ employees who chose a voluntary enhanced early retirement. Merry Christmas everybody!! […]

  3. Cab Calloway Says:

    So does this mean that we will have less crappy beer?

    I hate hearing about layoffs but Bud is really bad beer

  4. charles Mccune Says:

    we all new this will happen when we go and sell our companys to over seas ass holes that go and screw us in the end I used to drink bud wiser but the hell with it now I will find a different american bear because budwiser is now longer and american beer anymre now the belguim fucks are screwing our friends and naboors. all over seas companys suck ass and need to go to hell and stay the hell out of the us they are like the chinees they all suck. next there will be lead in the bear they are worse than the terrous in the country at least they kill yea and thats it not ripp you life from you and then force you to kill your self because you are now broke and dont knwo what to do becuase they screw american workers we should all say no to over seas companys and keep our jobs screw the japs germans, chines and koreans they can stay the hell out and let us keep our jobs and the hell with presdent bush for allowing them to do this to us

  5. James Says:

    I feel sorry for the hard working men and women of Anheuser-Busch but not the managers and promoters of their absolutely shit products. The Lager style beer only survives thanks to good global marketing. Even average quality European Lager/Pilsners piss from a great height all over it, not to mention the real Budweiser from the Czech Rep, named after the Czech town Budweis, which was legally bullied into submission to change it’s name, even though it was produced and named after the town it came from, and it’s Lager was far superior to the American product! Good riddance to bad rubbish, I hope I never see a bottle of that cheap rice beer that tastes like alcohol flavored water again, a triumph of marketing not quality.

  6. steve Says:

    Hey McCucune,

    Learn to spell, learn to capitalize other nations, and for God’s sake it’s “Chinese”, not “Chines” and it’s “neighbors”, not “Naboors”! You even messed up the spelling of “Beers”. It’s “Beers”, not “Bears”. By the way, what the hell are “terrous”? Are you trying to say “Terrorists”? Sober up you jerk!.

  7. brewpoll.com Says:

    Budweiser Announces Massive Layoffs

    InBev announces plans to cut 1,400 US salaried positions including 3/4 from Anheuser-Busch’s St Louis Headquarters.

  8. Chris NJ Says:

    When will the American people wake up? Terrorists are barely a threat compared to ALL the big companies being bought out by “overseas”.

    USA will very quickly go from the richest country in the world to one of the poorest!! And we just all sit here and let it happen! Sad

  9. Fred Says:

    A-B makes some fine beers, we may not all like them but a “few” folks do. InBev is run by accountants so you knew this coming and what better time to do it but during Christmas, get the books all nice and tidy for the new years. Bah Humbug! So I raise my glass of St Arnold’s Christmas Ale and wish them all a Merry Christmas.

  10. Hop Talk » Blog Archive » A-B InBev announces layoffs Says:

    […] (via Realbeer.com) […]

  11. Marc M Says:

    Fred, as a Houstonian I plan to join you in praising St. Arnold. I had the Christmas Ale earlier this year, but am waiting excitedly for their winter stout.

  12. Marc M Says:

    Oh and Cab, all brewers are hurting in this economy. I’m less woried about A-B and more worried for the fate of many crafters.

  13. Michael Says:

    The US now has some of the world’s finest craft brewers. Instead of whinging about “overseas companies”, people should do the patriotic thing and go out drink some quality beer. What’s more, the jobs being supported are largely local.

    All big companies are run by accountants, by the way. Same for GM.

  14. Paul Vehslage Says:

    Cab you pay taxes? Then don’t cheer the loss of American jobs. At least A-B was a brewery, INBEV is a bussiness whose bottom line hurts the american beer industry. Charles, the brewery wasn’t sold but bought out by a compant that payed $70 a share for a company that traded at $48 a share. Greed shows the way.

  15. Jim Says:

    It’s always sad to have layoffs and I feel for the families affected. I’m not an A-B fan nor do I drink their products and there are far better beer products out there. Maybe they can put funds into producing better beers. I wish everyone the best. Now I’ll sit back and enjoy a Shiner Bohemian Black Lager from the Spoetzl Brewery.