- H.J.Heinz Co. announced it would shutter three plants in North America and fire some 1,350 workers -- the latest in a string of cost-cutting moves at the ketchup manufacturer.
- The plants to be shuttered are in Florence, S.C. (200 jobs); Pocatello, Idaho, (410 jobs) and Leamington, Ontario, in Canada, (740 jobs.)
- The company plans to shift production to facilities in five other states and add 470 jobs.
Things are happening quickly at Heinz. And no doubt many folks wonder if things are happening too quickly. The company was taken over by a joint venture of 3G Capital and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in June. Since then the new owners have brought in a new CEO, fired roughly 1,200 people, closed a plant in China, grounded the company's corporate jets, and reduced output at a facility in England. All that may be reasonable enough. But earlier reports have also noted a sort of frenzied, cost-cutting that seems petty -- ordering employees to unplug mini fridges and limiting how much printing office staff can do. It reminds us of when the CFO at a publishing company we know refused to buy any more paper ... seemingly unaware of how important paper is at a company in the publishing business. It's enough to make us long for the days when Heinz' key selling point was that it moved slowly.