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MILWAUKEE – The parent of MillerCoors LLC will be moving hundreds of corporate office jobs to Milwaukee, a restructuring move that will result in the loss of 400 to 500 employees throughout the company.
The number of jobs coming to Milwaukee isn’t yet known, a company representative said Wednesday. But Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said it will be hundreds of good-paying white-collar jobs.
Barrett, at a City Hall news conference following the company’s announcement, said his administration and Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. officials have been working Molson Coors Brewing Co., the corporate parent of MillerCoors, on plans to move jobs to Milwaukee.
New phase, new name
The move will grow a workforce that has its roots in Miller Brewing Co., even as the MillerCoors name is dropped.
MillerCoors will now be known as Molson Coors Beverage Co.
Miller Brewing was founded in Milwaukee in 1855, and was sold in 1970 to cigarette maker Philip Morris Cos. It was acquired by South African Breweries in 2002, before being merged with Coors Brewing Co. to form the MillerCoors joint venture in 2008.
MillerCoors, in turn, is owned by Molson Coors, which has a joint headquarters in Denver and Montreal.
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Jobs cuts on the way
The job shift to Milwaukee is tied to a Molson Coors plan to simplify its corporate structure and cut costs.
The company will move from a corporate center and four business units to two business units: one for North America and one for Europe.
The North America business unit will consolidate the U.S. and Canada units and corporate center, the company said, allowing to it maneuver faster with its large brand lineup.
Molson Coors will close its Denver office, with the MillerCoors Chicago office becoming the North American operational headquarters.
As a result, support jobs housed in several offices around the country will now be based in Milwaukee, the company said.
While there will be a gain for Milwaukee, the consolidation will result in the loss of 400 to 500 employees throughout Molson Coors.
The company has about 610 corporate jobs and about 750 brewery jobs in Milwaukee, said Marty Maloney, manager of media relations.
The new positions should arrive in Milwaukee by July, he said.
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Miller Lite still on tap
While the MilerCoors name is being dropped, the Miller Brewing heritage will live on through such company brands as Miller Lite and Miller High Life, Maloney said.
The consolidation plan was announced as Molson Coors reported its third quarter earnings, which included revenue and income declines.
The restructuring and consolidation is designed to save $150 million that the company can reinvest in its business, which has been challenged by slowing growth and the growing number of craft beers.
“We can continue down the path we’ve been on for several years now, or we can make the significant and difficult changes necessary to get back on the right track,” said Gavin Hattersley, Molson Coors’ chief executive officer.
The company’s brands include Coors Light, Molson Canadian and Milwaukee’s Best.
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