More Layoffs at ABInBev

Sales force looses 90 field people

A massive sales and marketing shake-up at Anheuser-Busch resulted Thursday in the layoffs of 90 employees spread over 25 states, including four corporate vice-presidents, according to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In a brief statement, the company said “a small number of salaried sales employees” were told their jobs were eliminated. The company declined to address the cuts specifically.

But according to two knowledgeable sources, those let go from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s U.S. division included workers responsible for handling every facet of the brewer’s national sales, from dealing with the demands of large retailers to making sure individual bars had the latest Budweiser tap handle.

Missouri lost the greatest number of jobs with 17, followed by California with 12, Texas and Arizona with seven, and Illinois with six.

The job cuts are part of a plan that A-B unveiled to workers and the public on Tuesday. The plan would reshape the way the nation’s dominant brewer sells its beer. A greater focus will be placed on core brands such as Budweiser and Bud Light. The number of sales regions would grow to eight from five, with new offices in St. Louis, Denver and Charlotte, N.C.

The plan was known internally by the code name “Kashi,” a reference to the cereal with the “Go lean” slogan.

A source knowledgeable about A-B’s plan said that close to 450 jobs eventually would be cut, and that the 90 layoffs in sales were the first of several small waves.