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Campbell to lay off about 80 workers in North America as part of reorganization, half of those in Philly region

Erin Arvedlund, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Business News

PHILADELPHIA -- Campbell Soup Co. is laying off about 80 managers as part of its latest reorganization, totaling about 0.5% of its total workforce of 19,000 people.

"Today we communicated to a small number of North American employees that their positions have been eliminated," said spokesman Thomas Hushen in a statement.

About half of the 80 layoffs involving middle and upper managers will be in the Philadelphia and South Jersey region.

Campbell Soup's headquarters are in Camden, but the global company has North American operations across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

"Our new strategic plan and operating model provide the focus and clarity we need to produce steady, sequential improvements resulting in a sustainable growth model," the company's statement said. "This model will accelerate decision-making, drive additional clarity and execution of the portfolio roles of our brands, and further increase our effectiveness and efficiency."

"These decisions are always very difficult, but necessary to build a more focused organization that has the stability and discipline to return Campbell to sustainable, profitable growth," the statement added.

Campbell last month released quarterly earnings that prompted a rebound in the beleaguered company's share price, from a low of $32 in January to Wednesday's close of $41.40 (down 0.14 percent).

 

Including Snyder's-Lance Inc. -- one of the country's largest salty-snack makers, which Campbell acquired in March 2018 -- and the impact of changes in currencies, sales climbed 12% to $2.39 billion. Excluding Snyder's-Lance, Campbell Soup saw flat sales in the quarter at $1.88 billion.

Mark Clouse, who took over as Campbell's chief executive in January, has told Wall Street investors that the company is in the midst of trying to offset declining sales from canned soup as American consumers look for newer options.

The company bought Bolthouse Farms in 2012 for $1.6 billion but recently agreed to sell for $510 million. Clouse now faces the task of getting the 150-year-old company on a growth track while under pressure from activist investor Dan Loeb.

(c)2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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