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Anheuser-Busch offers enhanced perks for workers to retire early

BY Jenna Duncan

ST. LOUIS Anheuser-Busch this week said that in order to cut administrative costs it is offering salaried workers an early retirement package. This announcement came after A-B filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The improvements to the A-B retirement plan include better pension and medical benefits, and severance monies payable to those employees who will be age 55 years old or older by the year’s end. About 8,600 employees will be eligible for the program, more than 1,000 of whom are age 55 and older, the company said. A-B said that around 10 percent to 15 percent of those eligible are expected to accept the plans and retire.

The company also reported that of those eligible for the new retirement offer, 360 are “ket employees” for whom the retirement offerings will include between 15 months of base pay to twice their salaries, as well as other benefits. Vice president and chief financial officer W. Randolph Baker was named among these key players and would $2.7 million, if he agrees to the package.

A-B last month waved the green flag for a takeover bid by Belgian brewer InBev to acquire the company for $52 billion. The retirement and severance costs and related expenditures of $100 million to $140 million should provide A-B with a one-time pretax charges between $400 million and $525 million in the third and fourth quarters of 2008, sources had said.

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Coke corrals curious NASCAR fans to loyalty site

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Coca-Cola teamed up with and mobile service information company ChaCha to create a trivia campaign that led participants to the Coca-Cola loyalty Internet site, MyCokeRewards.com.

On the Jumbotron at the Brickyard race track in Indianapolis, prior to the Allstate 400 NASCAR race on July 27, Coca-Cola asked cellular phone users to text in trivia questions related to the race with the answers to be provided by the ChaCha service. Once a player received the answer via text message from ChaCha, he or she could then click to the MyCokeRewards Web site where the participant could view NASCAR prizes, such as hats and t-shirts available by redeeming Coke rewards points.

More than 100,000 trivia questions were received during the campaign, and of that total about 5.2 percent of cell phone users clicked through to MyCokeRewards.com, the companies said.

Coca-Cola and its marketing affiliates also said that they are now considering more ways to incorporate ChaCha and its text messaging services into the company’s marketing.

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Kellogg reorganizes its management

BY Jenna Duncan

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. Kellogg has announced many rearrangements in its managerial order of operations.

“These new assignments demonstrate the depth of our management bench and are part of our continuing commitment to growing talent from within the organization,” president and chief executive officer David Mackay stated. “The strength of our leadership team gives us great confidence in our ability to continue driving sustainable performance in a highly challenging environment.”

Starting with the promotion of Mark Baynes, formerly global chief marketing officer at Kellogg, to vice president and global chief marketing officer, the company has also moved Brad Davidson to the role of senior vice president and president of Kellogg North America; Paul Norman to Kellogg International senior vice president and president;; and John Bryant from executive vice president, chief financial officer and president of Kellogg North America, to the role of chief operating officer. In its international business, the company has moved Juan Pablo Villalobos, from his post as senior vice president and president of Kellogg Latin America to the job of senior vice president and president of U.S. Morning Foods; and the former chief financial officer of Kellogg Europe, Todd Penegor, will now take the reins as vice president of Kellogg and president of Kellogg U.S. Snacks.

The company also said executive vice president of Kellogg and president of Kellogg International, global innovation, and marketing and sales, Jeff Montie, has stepped down. According to Kellogg, all changes are effective immediately.

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