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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch is laying off many corporate teams

July 28, 2023: Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev announced it will lay off hundreds of corporate employees as sales of its flagship lager Bud Light falter.

On Thursday, in a statement, a company spokesperson said the job cuts affect less than 2% of U.S. employees. Anheuser-Busch has about 18,000 employees nationwide. The layoffs will include approximately 350 of those people.

The company said it would cut positions across every corporate function. Anheuser-Busch added the changes will “simplify and reduce layers within its organization.”

The layoffs will not affect employees such as brewery and warehouse staff, drivers, and field salespeople, among others, the company added.

“While we never take these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success,” Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a statement. “These corporate structure changes will enable our teams to focus on what we do best brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in the moments that matter.”

Bud Light sales have sagged following a conservative boycott over its March Madness partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The company faced backlash from other consumers and Mulvaney herself over its decision not to defend the collaboration.

Amid the uproar, shares of Anheuser-Busch have dipped more than 2% this year versus the S&P 500′s nearly 20% gain.

Bud Light lost its top spot in the U.S. beer market in May to Constellation Brands’ Modelo. According to data shared by consulting firm Bump Williams, the brand held 8.7% of overall beer sales for the four weeks ending July 1. The data found that Bud Light had a 7% market share during that same period.

The firm also found Bud Light sales dropped 28% for the week ending June 24 compared to last year.

Anheuser-Busch is also the target of a government investigation led by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Last week, DeSantis said he instructed the State Board of Administration to immediately review whether Bud Light’s parent company breached its shareholder duties over its partnership with Mulvaney.

DeSantis suggested the probe could lead to a lawsuit on behalf of the shareholders of Florida’s pension funds. Florida has $53 million worth of stock in Anheuser-Busch.

“Anheuser-Busch InBev takes our responsibility to our shareholders, employees, distributors, and customers seriously,” a spokesperson for the company said in the previous week.

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