Bud Light’s parent company previously employed 19,000 U.S. workers prior to massive companywide layoffs this week.
- Anheuser-Busch InBev laid off 2% of the company’s workforce on Wednesday amid a corporate restructuring effort.
- The firings mostly hit corporate and marketing workers, with the company assuring warehouse and brewery staff that they would not be affected.
- The company tells The Wall Street Journal that the restructuring will eliminate many key office roles in corporate offices in New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.
- InBev has seen a 12.1% valuation decline since March 31. The company’s quarterly earnings call is scheduled for August 3.
Why It’s Important
On April 1, transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney released a cross-promotional Instagram video with Bud Light, revealing that their face had been added to the side of Bud Light cans and promoting the company’s ongoing March Madness campaign. Subsequently, an interview with Bud Light Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid revealed that she was attempting to shift the brand away from its “fratboy” image towards a new audience of young progressive beer drinkers.
Within two weeks, Bud Light’s sales precipitously dropped and have continued to do so, with a 26.4% year-over-year decline for the July 4 weekend and a 26.5% monthly sales decline as of July 15. The consumer boycott is nearing the end of its fourth month as sales continue to drop.
The newly announced layoffs reflect the precarious position of InBev, which has publicly admitted it made mistakes in its approach to its new marketing campaign. The company has precious little time to rehabilitate its image before stores begin reevaluating how much shelf space they give to Bud Light and other InBev products, as reports of unsold stock continue to emerge. The business world continues to be bewildered by the success of the boycott.
“While we never take these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success. These corporate structure changes will enable our teams to focus on what we do best—brewing great beer for everyone,” says Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth.