Anheuser-Busch Eliminates 400 Jobs as Sales Plummet, Says It Doesn’t Take Cuts ‘Lightly’

Craig Bannister | July 27, 2023
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In a recent announcement, Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of the self-inflicted faltering Bud Light brand, revealed its plans to reduce its employment roster by two percent, cutting nearly 400 positions. The company said the decision to make the cuts was driven by the need to simplify and streamline its organizational structure and ensure long-term success in the competitive market.

The cuts will mainly target U.S.-based corporate staff, primarily in New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis, while frontline workers like brewery and warehouse staff, drivers, and field sales personnel will remain unaffected.

This restructuring comes as customers continue to abandon Bud Light, in reaction to the beer’s public endorsement of transgender ideology. In April, the company faced a significant public backlash when its marketing department sent customized beer cans to a transgender TikTok influencer, who posted pictures to social media, as part of a promotional campaign.

The move has caused sales to plummet, with Bud Light experiencing a sales drop of 21.4 percent, while its parent brand, Budweiser, lost 11.5 percent. Meanwhile, its major competitor, Coors Light, enjoyed a 10.9 percent sales boost.

In a statement addressing the staff cuts, Anheuser-Busch Chief Executive Brendan Whitworth said the company doesn’t take such staff cuts “lightly”:

“Today we took the very difficult but necessary decision to eliminate a number of positions across our corporate organization.

“While we never take these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success.”

Even within the LGBTQ+ community, which Bud Light aimed to appeal to, there was considerable dissatisfaction with the brand's tepid response to the backlash, as gay bars across the country reportedly removed Anheuser-Busch products as a form of protest.

Consequently, Bud Light's market share dwindled, with Modelo overtaking it as the most popular beer in the United States, garnering 8.4 percent of consumer dollars compared to Bud Light's declining 7.3 percent.

This decline in sales continued into the summer, with Bud Light experiencing a 27.9 percent decrease in purchases compared to the same period last year. The Fourth of July, a crucial holiday for beer sales, further exemplified Bud Light's struggle to regain its footing in the market.

These challenges have undoubtedly impacted Bud Light's performance, leading the company to make the difficult decision of reducing its corporate staff.