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General Mills will cut 400-600 jobs worldwide as part of major reorganization

General Mills has announced a global restructuring that will see it cut as many as 600 jobs worldwide.

Credit: General Mills

The new structure, which the maker of Cheerios said will “support growth and drive greater efficiency,” comes as the company continues to face sluggish sales. In September, it reported a drop in sales for the fifth straight quarter.

As part of the reorganization, General Mills said it plans to name a new global chief marketing officer and marketing innovation leader. Ann Simonds, SVP-chief marketing officer for General Mills U.S. business, has announced her intention to leave the company at the end of the year. She joined the company in 1995 and took on the role of marketing head in 2014.

The company is also eliminating the position of international chief operating officer, a role that is currently held by Chris O’Leary. In October, General Mills announced the anticipated departure of O’Leary, stating that he will stay in his current position until the end of 2016 before moving into an advisory role.

Jeff Harmening, who was recently promoted to president and chief operating officer of General Mills (and is expected to succeed Ken Powell as the food giant’s next chief executive), will now lead four groups within the company: North America Retail, Europe and Australia, Asia and Latin America, and Convenience Stores and Foodservice. The four units will be led by group presidents Jon Nudi, Bethany Quam, Christina Law and Shawn O’Grady, respectively.

“As we wrap up our 150th anniversary year, we are ready to take the next step in our journey to truly operate as a global company and fully resource our best ideas to drive growth,” said Powell in a statement.

The company’s dairy strategic brand unit, which is based in France and led by Oliver Faujour, will also report to Harmening and will work with group presidents to “explore further opportunities to drive growth and innovation for the dairy platform globally.” According to General Mills, it holds number two positions worldwide in both yogurt and super-premium ice cream thanks to brands including Yoplait and Häagen-Dazs.

General Mills also announced its plans to enhance growth capabilities in areas including strategic revenue management, e-commerce and marketing innovation. The Minneapolis-based company said it intends to “augment its current talent with external expertise in these areas over the next several months.”

News of the reorganization comes just days after General Mills completed its creative agency review in the US. In October, the company chose 72andSunny and Redscout as the company’s lead agencies. Last week, it announced that Joan Creative, The Community and Erich & Kallman will work on across the company’s portfolio of brands on a project basis.

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