Drinks giant Diageo has announced plans to cut scores of jobs from its marketing wing just a day after securing the ultimate photo-op – US President Barack Obama with a pint of Guinness.
The company is to slash €8m off the wage bill in its Irish operation.
Pictures of the President supping the black stuff on a trip to his ancestral homeland in the village of Moneygall were beamed around the world yesterday and widely acknowledged as a priceless marketing coup.
That was less than a week after the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh saw first hand the art of pouring a perfect pint, with the Duke looking sorely tempted to taste.
John Kennedy, Diageo Ireland managing director, said the cuts were about securing greater efficiencies.
“Diageo is fully committed to Ireland, and has very significant operations here that are an essential element of our company’s operations globally,” he said.
“However we do need to make changes and deliver greater efficiencies in some of the support functions of the business.
“These changes, which are being carried out across Europe, follow months of careful analysis and consideration. The announcement today is difficult and we fully appreciate the impact this may have on some of our employees and their families.
“We will work closely with our employees and offer them every practical support through what will be a difficult period. However the changes are absolutely essential to ensure that Diageo has a competitive and sustainable business in Ireland.”
Diageo said the cuts were part of a reorganisation of its European business and do not affect manufacturing. Support functions and marketing at the St James‘ Gate brewing plant in Dublin city centre will bear the brunt of the cuts.
The company said the aim of the cuts was to create a more competitive, efficient and sustainable business for Diageo in Europe and in Ireland.
It said it is expected that the organisational changes will lead to some reductions in staffing levels across Europe, including Ireland.
A consultation process with staff has begun.