Drinks giant Diageo is to cut 150 jobs in North America in April, as it combines its wine and beer divisions.
The integration of Diageo Chateau & Estates Wines and Diageo-Guinness USA to form a single ‘USA total beverage alcohol’ business will result in a reduction of 4% of North American staff.
Ray Chadwick, president of Diageo Chateau & Estates Wines, will leave his post but remain a non-executive director and take over as chairman of the California Wine Institute in June.
The cuts are the latest in a succession affecting the US wine industry, including up to 170 redundancies at Kendall-Jackson.
Recruitment agencies are reporting increased business as a consequence of lay-offs, after California’s unemployment rate rose above 10%.
However, staffing company Ajilon said beer and wine retail distributors were hiring more staff as consumers chose to drink wine at home rather than in bars and restaurants.
Written by Richard Woodard