Kraft Cuts Jobs, Relocates Beverage Unit

Kraft Foods will eliminate 1,600 positions in North America and relocate its beverages and snacks unit from Chicago, as the food and drink conglomerate prepares to split into two companies, the company announced Tuesday. The company hopes the changes will place it in a stronger position to execute its global sales strategies.

“When we announced our decision to create two world-class companies last August, we said both would be leaner, more competitive organizations,” Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement. “We’re confident that this transformational work will improve effectiveness and fuel the future growth of both companies.”

Approximately 40 percent of the cuts of will come from its U.S. sales team and 40 percent more will come from corporate staff and various business units. The remaining 20 percent of the job eliminations are currently open positions.

Kraft will also move its beverages unit in New York and Planters brand division in New Jersey to Chicago, where the company’s future global snacks company will be headquartered.

Kraft announced last year that it would split into two independent public companies with one focused on snacks, and the other on groceries. The company indicated that its grocery company would center around North America while its snacks company would have a more global focus and would look to differentiate between the two companies’ distribution chains.