Marketers under threat as Masterfoods cuts 700 jobs

Masterfoods UK is to cut a raft of marketing positions as a part of the restructure of its Western European operations. It is planning to shed over 1,000 jobs in total with 700 going in the UK.

It is not clear how many jobs will be shed directly from marketing and sales but it is understood that 200 staff across the company’s support divisions will go. The company is due to start a consultation process with staff, and the redundancies are likely to be made over the next nine to 12 months.

The restructure follows a pan-European consultation, including the UK, Germany and France, involving over 11,000 employees. The review was concluded on March 7 and the results are being handled on a national basis. The changes will be overseen by Masterfoods president Pierre Laubies.

In the UK, the company is consolidating its two factories in Slough by closing its chocolate factory and investing 62m (&£43) in the remaining factory so that production of confectionery can be moved there. It also plans to establish innovation centres in Slough and Birstall in Yorkshire for pet care.

Masterfoods has already made a number of changes in its marketing department by restructuring around categories rather than regions. This has already led to the departure of Paul Kaye, business development director for Spain, who left to join Heinz last year (MW September 24, 2004) and the promotion of European marketing director for cat food Mark Johnson to business development director for dry pet food (MW October 7, 2004).

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