Pittsburgh’s transformation from steel and manufacturing to eds and meds is a well-known story that continues to attract national attention, this time from Time Magazine.
McDonald’s is moving to clear Heinz ketchup out of its system.
The restaurateur this week confirmed that it has started the process of moving to other vendors, following the appointment of former Burger King Worldwide CEO Bernardo Hees to run Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. Mr. Hees also serves as vice chairman of the board of Miami-based Burger King.
“As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time,” according to a statement from Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s.
The decision appears to put an end to a years-long push by Heinz officials to regain ground with the restaurant giant that operates more than 34,000 locations around the globe, although most American customers buying Big Macs aren’t getting Heinz ketchup with their fries anyway.
Editor’s note: Not off to the greatest start!
The new owners of the H.J. Heinz Co. are eliminating 600 office positions across the Pittsburgh company’s operations in the U.S. and Canada — including 350 jobs in Pittsburgh — as a move toward a more efficient operation.
A company spokesman this morning confirmed reports that layoffs had begun in Pittsburgh this week, about two months after the close of the $28 billion sale of the historic food company to 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway.
The cuts here will take Heinz employment in the region down from close to 1,200 to about 800.
“As part of our transition to a private company, the senior leadership team has examined every piece of our business to better position Heinz for accelerated growth in a very competitive global market,” said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs.
The ketchup company says it’s the largest deal ever in the food industry. Heinz shareholders will receive $72.50 in cash for each share of common stock they own. The transaction value includes the assumption of Heinz’s debt. Based on Heinz’s number of shares outstanding, the deal is worth $23.3 billion excluding debt.