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Heinz Layoffs Affect 600 Jobs Across US, Canada After Company Sold

By Ken Mandel   |   Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 01:33 PM

Layoffs at H.J. Heinz Co., the well-known maker of ketchup and other condiments, are affecting 600 jobs throughout the U.S. and Canada, including 350 at its Pittsburgh-based headquarters, the company announced Tuesday.

Sold in June to a private investment firm, the reduction comes as a result of an operations review, spokesman Michael Mullen said.

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"We regret the impact this has on Heinz employees and their families," he told The Associated Press.

Those who lost their jobs were offered Heinz severance packages and outplacement services, Mullen said.

The company agreed to be bought in February by billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital in a deal valued at $28 billion. The transaction was finalized four months later, and the company went private. ()

New CEO Bernardo Hees, who took over for William Johnson, and the company's leadership "examined every piece of our business to better position Heinz in a very competitive global market" and that "resulted in a number of difficult but necessary organizational changes," Mullen said, according to the AP.

The company headquarters will remain Pittsburgh, where it was founded in 1869. Heinz will still employ about 800 people in that city and 6,000 across North America.

In addition to its iconic ketchup, Heinz is behind thousands of products and operates other labels, including Ore-Ida and Weight Watchers Smart Ones.

They own the naming rights to Heinz Field, home of the Pittsbugh Steelers, and were featured this season on AMC's "Mad Men."

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