Morning Coffee Dec 12 2011

Pepsi Draining 1,000 Jobs to Grow Sales

By damian ghigliotty

Pepsi might taste sweeter than Coke, but certainly not to some of its workers.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based soda giant plans to lay off 1,000 employees as part of its plan to increase the company's 2012 marketing budget, the New York Post reported.

Last year Pepsi spent $153 million on soda ads, down from $348 million in 2005, while Coca-Cola spent $253 million in 2010, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"The restructuring was obviously coming," Caroline Levy, a CLSA analyst who covers U.S. consumer goods companies, told FINS. "What I imagine they're doing is taking money out of their corporate offices wherever they can to invest in driving growth for the company's North American beverage business. Let's hope the 1,000 people they are laying off are not the ones they need to drive that growth."

Pepsi has been shaking up its executive management in recent months. Eric Foss, 53, the former chief executive officer of Pepsi Beverages Company, announced his retirement in mid-September and left the company last Friday.

PepsiCo did not return requests for comments.

"They have pretty well shut down communication with Wall Street," said Levy. "Right now they are in lockout mode. They were going to provide an outlook in early December. But now they are saying that they will do that in February when they report their year-end earnings."

Sales Buzz

Norton's Promotion (WSJ)

AOL promoted Jim Norton, the advertising executive in charge of its Advance team, to head advertising sales for the company. Norton's promotion follows the recent departure of Jeff Levick, AOL's former ad sales chief.

Wal-Mart Investigating Workers (WSJ)

Wal-Mart is pursuing an internal investigation to find out if some of its employees violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits overseas bribery.

Changing Teams (AllThingsD)

Samantha Loveland, vice president for customer success at, has joined the enterprise social networking site Yammer as vice president for worldwide customer engagement.

The Latest Showdown (AllThingsD)

Time to pick sides. The ongoing competition between brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce sites is heating up.

Marketing Buzz

Topping Google's List (Ad Age)

Google's biggest U.S. search advertisers, in terms of search spend, are IAC/InterActiveCorp, Amazon, AT&T, Expedia, Experian and Microsoft, according to Kantar Media, WPP's ad market research firm.

Less Local Coverage (Ad Age)

AOL's Patch appears to be scaling back its hyper-local news efforts as it begins to merge some of its individual neighborhood sites.

Agency Merger (Media Decoder)

The advertising agencies MMG Worldwide and Y Partnership, which specialize in travel ads, plan to merge. The companies, which employ a total of 175, don't expect layoffs.

Buzz Around the Office

Cruising Around Tokyo (YouTube)

He makes it look so easy.

List of the Day: Making Words Work for You

Some corporate communication experts think we're our own greatest enemies when it comes to getting our message across. We dilute the message with useless words. Here are some to get rid of to make your speech stronger.

1. Any phrase that includes "just."

2. "I believe." (replace with "I know.")

3. "I feel." (replace with "I'm convinced.")

(Source: Forbes)

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