The new owners of the H.J. Heinz Co. – Berkshire Hathaway and 3G – are currently using the same tactic that they used with Burger King Worldwide, and that was to cut jobs.
One of the spokespersons from Heinz confirmed on Tuesday that the company is going to eliminate 600 of their office positions in Canada and the United States. Most of these job cuts are going to take place at the headquarters in Pittsburgh. They are doing this specifically to simplify the organization, and for “enabling faster decision-making, increased accountability, and accelerated growth,” the spokesman said in a statement that they emailed.
3G capital and Berkshire Hathaway acquired Heinz in June 2013. They put in a new management team led by the CEO of Burger King, Bernardo Hees. It did not take that long for employees and onlookers to begin speculating that they were going to implement the same strategy that they used during the Burger King take over in 2010.
Only after a few weeks of being on the job, Bernardo Hees eliminated about 300 of the 600 Burger King employees at the company headquarters. Plus he implemented other cost-cutting measures such as reducing employee permission to use the color photocopiers. 3G was able to reduce the operating costs that Burger King by about 30%. Then it took the company public again last summer.
When the Heinz buyout worth $23 million was announced last February, analysts thought that the company had a lot less fat to trim than Burger King.
But understand that Heinz will continue to employ 6000 people in North America. The cuts at Heinz were also reported earlier by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Mr. Hees is also currently shaking up the look and feel of the company headquarters at Heinz, just like he did at Burger King. He mentions that the majority of the 800 remaining people in the Pittsburgh office will come together “in an open office environment” at the downtown location, One PPG Place.
At the time when 3G made these changes at Burger King, pods – seating 4 to 6 people – replaced cubicles and offices. White noise was piped through the office building to eliminate distractions. This is helpful when people work in such close proximity to one another.