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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through December 17, 2008 * Anheuser-Busch cuts 1,400 jobs < Previous Next >

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Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 855
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 75.67.98.168
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 07:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anheuser-Busch cuts 1,400 jobs

The move comes just a few weeks after InBev's $52 billion takeover of the Budweiser brewer.

By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer
Last Updated: December 8, 2008: 2:01 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev said Monday it will cut 1,400 U.S. jobs, about 6% of its total U.S. workforce.

The cuts come just a few weeks after InBev's $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. on Nov. 18.

The Belgian brewer said 75% of the positions being cut are at corporate headquarters in St. Louis. More than 250 open positions will not be filled, the company said.

An additional 415 contractor positions will be pruned from the payroll, the company said. Most of the reductions will occur before 2009.

"To keep the business strong and competitive, this is a necessary but difficult move for the company," said David A. Peacock, the company president, in a statement.

The company said the reductions are in addition to the more than 1,000 U.S. salaried employees who took buyouts in a program that ended Nov. 14.

The program was part of a $1 billion cost reduction plan announced in June. At that time, Anheuser-Busch said it planned to cut its U.S. full-time salaried workforce to 10 to 15% by the year's end.

When InBev announced in July it would take over Anheuser-Busch, the company said it planned to save at least $1.5 billion annually.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6363
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 208.102.245.115
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And I should care why? Well, the unemployed deserve sympathy I suppose.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 2002
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 07:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Synergies".

Merry Christmas.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 7088
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 75.145.77.185
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 08:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't care about the beer, but I care about people losing jobs....
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 856
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 75.67.98.168
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 08:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

exactly Denny
 

Beertracker
Senior Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 1225
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 216.97.167.75
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 08:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not really a big surprise, if you follow InBev's track record. At least there's still a production brewery in St. Louis which is more than they can say in Newcastle Upon Tyne!

CHEERS! Beertracker

"A homebrewed beer is truly a superior beer." ~ "Buffalo" Bill Owens - American Brewer
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6365
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 208.102.245.115
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 09:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Opps!

(Message edited by listermann on December 08, 2008)
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 2138
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 75.252.97.128
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 01:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you work for a company, doesn't matter how big, and you're acquired by another company, doesn't matter how big, worry about your job.
 

tim roth
Advanced Member
Username: Hopdude

Post Number: 708
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 173.22.56.157
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 10:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It just plain sucks.
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 926
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 24.74.166.143
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 01:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that a bunch of HB's are lamenting job loss for a mega brewer that has been castrated on this Board? How much Bud do you have in your fridge?

Commercial break....

Employee at Merger Townhall: "So, with the recent announcement of the merger of our two companies, will there be a job loss?"

Leadership of acquired Firm: "They bought us because we were one of the leaders. There are currently "clean rooms" setup that each management team is using to look at best practices with each Firm. I can assure you, that you will all be given an equal chance for jobs at the new company. Be proud that we were acquired....it is a symbol of the work you have done."

(What the Leadership at the acquired Firm actually meant) - "We have our stay puts....we have our severance packages....you really don't have a chance....the Firm that bought us did so because they had the capital to do so....and with the capital, the power to bring in their own...you don't have a chance of keeping your job."

Employee: "Thank you (Leadership of Firm being acquired). I had another question. So, because we are valued by the new Firm, are there any changes to our objectives for this year? Do we keep with our current game plan?"

Leadership of acquired Firm: "There is even more work. With the combined marketing strength and synergies of our two companies, we will (in fact) be doing more hiring. You see we will be the leader in our space. Be prepared for great things....we need you now more than ever."

(What the Leadership at the acquired Firm actually meant) - "Mortgage, 1st wife's alimony, 2nd wife's augmentation, the little indiscretion with the Denny's waitress, condo payment for Norman in Denmark...all paid for...there is a higher power....(or, was it Shcaun in Norway?)"

Yes, it sucks...but, being on both sides of M&A's over the past 15 years...reality....accept it...adjust, and move on....deny it....and...well....not saying it is right, or wrong, but the realities of capitalism and politics....if you really feel bad for these folks, have a Bud.

Cheers
 

tim roth
Advanced Member
Username: Hopdude

Post Number: 711
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 173.22.56.157
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 02:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Michael-
I did have a Bud or 4 today. AND I do feel for all the folks and their families that have lost their jobs.
I love micro brews and homebrewing but the mega brews have a strong place in the economy and a place in my fridge.
Brewery workers are factory workers, as I am. cheers,tim

(Message edited by hopdude on December 11, 2008)
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 2004
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 02:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Say what you want about the macros - they brew exactly what they intend to brew with great skill and consistency. They employ many of the smartest technical and scientific minds in the brewing world, and the "trickle down" effect of their work is not insignificant.

I don't have Bud in my fridge, nor will I ever. I'd just rather drink something with more flavor and more character. (I do enjoy Michelob, but only when lacking a better option.) That said, it deeply saddens me to see an American icon bought out by a soulless multinational, and to see American workers paying the price here right before Christmas, of all times. It's just sickening.

How I feel about macrobeer is irrelevant to how I feel about people that work to produce it. It's an honorable profession, whether you like Bud or not.
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 867
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 71.80.118.244
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 05:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would not blink an eye about the cuts. These people are likely not brewers at all

More than likely the first thing to go is marketing.. The guy who brought us Spuds McKenzie for example.. Hey, it was a good run but increased profits for stockholders trumps all.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1990
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 01:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't forget that Augustus Busch was one of the most ruthless capitalists this country has ever known. He did truly understand the brewing production process and always strove to produce quality beer; these two things do set him apart from the soulless ghouls who came up through Sales or Marketing to take over other breweries and drive them into the ground. But he also used every trick, both ethical and unethical, to gain market share, including buyouts and mergers when it suited. He'd recognize what happened here and he wouldn't cry for the redundant workers. I'm not sure AB had any more "soul" under his direction than InBev current has.

I agree with Tim and Tom about the redundancies. If guys on the line get pink-slipped, I feel bad. But if it is people in marketing or accounting, I'll shed no tears. Same thing at the car makers in Detroit.

(Message edited by PaulHayslett on December 11, 2008)
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2250
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 67.191.162.214
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Spuds McKenzie"??? Tom, are you still listening to Thomas Dolby in your DeLorean?

 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1991
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll have to retract, at least partially. There is one group in marketing I would cry for. Whoever runs the "Here's to beer" campaign should be protected. It may be entirely self-serving -- just preparing the ground for AB's diversification into craft-like beer -- but I still think it has done a good job raising awareness of better beer. "The American Brew" DVD, available for not much more than shipping and handling, praises pioneers like Fritz Maytag without reserve.

That whole campaign plays well for InBev, since they will want to import so many of their European brands. I hope they keep that unit intact.
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 927
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 24.74.166.143
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 06:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am excited to see how the InBev marketing team will meet the challenge to "raise the bar" on dumbing down Bud even more.

Richard has it right....if you are the one being acquired....develop an exit strategy, especially if you are in any Corporate support functions (accounting, finance, marketing, etc).

>>>But if it is people in marketing or accounting, I'll shed no tears. Same thing at the car makers in Detroit. >>>

I worked a Boeing for awhile and came in from smaller, start-up companies...I was shocked at the attitude of many of the people who had been there long term....making upper five figures for doing very little work...the benefits were amazing....all the while, b*tching and moaning about the company, about the pay, etc...if they had to hit the street and find a comparable job with another company, they would be in for a shock.

The days of working anywhere for 30 years, collecting a pension are over.

The people I REALLY feel bad for are those who have been with some of these companies for a long time and are now geing laid off. Many have never developed additional skills, never networked, always assumed they would always have a job....when those folks hit the street, it is going to be an ugly reality check.

I think I toast them all good luck with an AB American Ale (hey, it ain't that bad).
 

Robert
Member
Username: Okierat

Post Number: 209
Registered: 05-2003
Posted From: 138.32.32.166
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 07:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Michael,

I worked for Amoco when the "merger of equals" was made with BP. And wholy crud that was the exact same discussion going on at the "town hall meeting".

Well, except for the lady who stood up and said "did we not fight a war in 1776 to keep this from happening" Oddly enough no one ever really saw her after that.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9697
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can attest to all that. I worked for an entrepreneurial company that was acquired by a large holding company who promised a "hands-off management approach." I had been there four years and received a healthy bonus that year. However, within two more years nine of 12 department managers, including myself, were gone. I knew the writing was on the wall when I came in one morning to find my boss (the vice president of finance and administration) was no longer in his office and someone I had never met before was at his desk.
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 2140
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 150.202.8.1
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 08:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Change is something that people need to embrace also. I was a plant manager for a multi billion $ medical device company and we were acquired by a larger company. Within days nearly everyone at my level and above were fired. Fortunately I was promoted and it worked out well for me. But I also didn't fight things and speak poorly of the new company.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6383
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 208.102.245.115
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 08:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A man who was fired by John Patterson of National Cash Register, found about his new status when he observed his desk was in the front lawn on fire.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9698
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 08:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's difficult to "embrace change" when it means your own extinction. The best you can do is buff up your resume, hone your networking skills and proactively hasten your departure on your terms rather than theirs.

Young people understand this instinctively. It's harder for us old dogs. My father retired (actually, started another career) at 65 from his first full-time job after graduating from college.

(Message edited by BillPierce on December 11, 2008)
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2254
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.248.74.254
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 09:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That is why I changed jobs in June. I was with EDS/Bellsouth/AT&T for 6-1/2 years, and after the merger craziness and them dragging the process out over what amounted to 2 years, I started seeking last October when we heard for sure that EDS was on their way out. It took until June for me to find the right fit.

Funny thing is I actually survived all the layoffs and got absorbed back into AT&T from EDS in April, but they hosed me on my time in service. So when I got the offer for my current company, I figured if I am going to start from square one, I may as well start from square one somewhere else.

So far, it was the best decision I have made career-wise. 20 miles closer to home, better hours, better pay, learning tons of new stuff, able to ride my bike to work, and the list goes on. Hell, even if AT&T would have recognized my time in service on their account, I still would have taken this new job. But the point is, when things start getting ugly, you need to act. You have to make it happen, don't let it happen to you.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that AT&T is now going to lay off 12,000 people, and my new company just went through a 2% reduction in force last week. Again, I survived. When one door closes, another one opens.

(Message edited by brewdudebob on December 11, 2008)
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 245
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.228.251
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If these employees were contributing to the profit of the company, they wouldn't be let go. Anyone who is paying for himself with his work isn't let go. Just because you are doing "work" doesn't mean you are worth your paycheck.

In any large company, there is going to be bloat. There will be people who take their job for granted and do as little work as possible. We all know employees who are like this, who don't work as hard as we do and yet get paid the same (unless you are one of those employees yourself :-) ). Sure I feel sorry for their families. But I don't feel sorry for someone who doesn't produce enough value to their employer that letting them go actually *saves* money rather than costs money (in terms of the lost productivity of that employee). Remember, we all have jobs because we produce more in terms of our labor than it costs to employ us. If you are not contributing in a way that increases profits, you are worse than useless. You're a drag on the company and you *deserve* to be let go.

(Message edited by Nathan Eddy on December 11, 2008)
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1993
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 10:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My first job out of college was at AT&T Bell Labs. I remember that my grandmother was ecstatic. Great big solid secure company. She thought I would work there until I got my 45-year pin and then retire on a fat pension.

The big court-ordered breakup was just getting rolling at that time. All of a sudden, AT&T had to compete against other firms. Many tens of thousands were let go, company-wide, including 3,000 of the 8,000 people in my building. A security guard would appear at the office door carrying a couple of flattened cardboard box. The chosen employee had 1 hour to gather personal belongings and get out. They weren't taking any chances that someone would sabotage a computer system before leaving.

During the following weeks, the company cleaned out all of the offices. This was one of those buildings which looks like a Hyatt, with catwalks around big, glass-topped atria, fountains and trees at the bottom and glass elevators. We'd watch from our side of the atrium while great, long wagon trains of cardboard boxes on dollies would be lined up on the catwalks and then rolled away.

I knew then that my grandmother's vision was doomed, that corporate America was no longer going to treat its workers as it had. Stay current and stay moving, because you are going to get pink-slipped someday anyway and you'd better be ready.

I had a few "regular" jobs after that, but I've been freelance since 1990. Ironically, I've had some clients for 15 years, watching employees come and go. I can tell the new ones about the "old days" at their own companies. How messed up is that?
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 246
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.228.251
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 10:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, I don't think it is messed up at all. You can protect the consumers, or you can protect the employees. I see nothing wrong with companies becoming more competitive. Consumers win in the end. Lots more people buy Bud than make Bud.

We have all watched the market share of craft brewing grow over the years, and lots of us have cheered it on. What do people expect to happen once a big corporation starts to lose market share?

I'm glad we consumers have more choice in beer and phone companies. Everyone hates monopolies, but what do you expect to happen once a (quasi-) monopoly is put in its place? These layoffs are a sign of progress, pure and simple. We should be cheering it as a sign of change for the better.

Once the car was invented, I'm sure there were many horse-buggy makers who were upset about losing their job.

Time to do something else, buggy makers. You can't expect society to stagnate so you can have a paycheck.
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2256
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 67.191.162.214
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 11:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nathan, I believe the popular analogy is "Buggy Whip Makers"

 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 928
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 24.74.166.143
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 01:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob...when I lived in Seattle, I worke for McCaw Cellular...Kirkland...Lake Washington office...it was great...get the workd done...who cares what you wear to work...water gun fights were mandatory in the office on Fridays.

AT&T bought McCaw in the late 90's (Craig did well)...I was summoned to NJ to provide "some kind of update" about wireless. I knew it would be a different culture when I took a ride from Newark airport to the AT&T Corporate "hotel." Oiy...my impression of the meeting...never have so many, done so little for so few....AT&T sold wireless to Cingular, I bailed, Cingular sold back to AT&T.

Bill, change is inevitable...these days you have to take the mindset that you are a contract worker, even as a full-time employee....trust me...mid-40's here...three kids....I don't like it, but IT IS REALITY.

Robert - I have been in the "prep" meetings to discuss those types of conversation during a merger...it really disgusts me to hear what upper management discusses, and what they will "present" to employees....maybe it is time for me to start that microbrewry, LOL.

To keep this beer related....a toast to those who "actually" built the infrastructure of this country.....

Cheers.
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 929
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 24.74.166.143
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 01:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>If these employees were contributing to the profit of the company, they wouldn't be let go. Anyone who is paying for himself with his work isn't let go. Just because you are doing "work" doesn't mean you are worth your paycheck>>>

Uhhhh....grasshopper....not true....there is a thing called politics. To keep this beer related, a grasshopper just hopped into my pint glass...
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 2142
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 150.202.8.1
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 06:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Two things nobody can take away from you are an education and good experience. We should all accumulate as much of those as we can throughout our careers. That's your best security.

Also, you need to look long term at the industry you're in. I'm from Michigan originally and many of my friends and relatives wanted to work for the auto industry. I saw them building crap and their market shares declining. I didn't want any part of that. I saw people getting older and medical care becoming more important. I got into medical devices and haven't looked back.