COCA-COLA ANNOUNCES MASSIVE LAYOFFS

As Many as 1,000 Overall; 500 From Atlanta Headquarters

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- Coca-Cola Co. today informed about 500 employees in marketing and other departments they are being laid off, according to people familiar with the situation.

The layoffs come as part of an efficiency move that has three divisions in North America being combined into one.

It's uncertain how many people have been laid off in each department. Groups thought to be affected include human resources, sales, finance, legal and information technology. The company in January announced it would lay off about 1,000 people, with about half, or 4% of staff, coming from its headquarters in Atlanta.

No comment
Coca-Cola did not return telephone calls seeking comment by press time, though the layoffs had been expected to happen by the end of March.

"It's D-Day for a bunch of departments," said one executive familiar with the situation.

Streamlining operations
The world's largest soft-drink company said on Jan. 30 that it would cut staff by about 1,000 people, or 4% of staff, as it combines departments and streamlines operations. It is combining its three principal business units in North America -- Coca-Cola North America and the divisions for the fountain soda and Minute Maid.

This is Coca-Cola's second major layoff, with the first coming in 2000 when 5,200 people were let go.

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