Charlotte snack-maker Snyder’s-Lance is cutting more jobs at its headquarters, as the company tries to recover from “difficult challenges” that have weighed down its recent financial results.
An email sent to employees by CEO Brian Driscoll Monday and obtained by the Observer said that the company had made the “very difficult decision” to cut about 250 jobs across the company. A spokesman wouldn’t say how many of those jobs were based in Charlotte, only that “the reduction is of the global workforce in various locations.”
Some employees at the company’s Ballantyne headquarters were informed Monday via email and in meetings with supervisors that their jobs would be eliminated. One laid-off employee said the cuts came as a surprise, and affected many veteran workers. The job cuts will all be effective by the end of the week, Snyder’s-Lance said.
The company’s stock closed up 2.5 percent Tuesday, at $36.34 per share.
“This is a required first step to improve our financial performance, balancing costs and expected levels of profitability in a very competitive environment,” Driscoll said in a statement. Snyder’s-Lance also appointed a new chief customer officer, John Maples, and said it plans to close a Florida chip-manufacturing plan by the end of September.
With about 6,100 employees total, Tuesday’s job cuts equal 4 percent of the Snyder’s-Lance workforce. And they’re not the only layoffs the company has done recently.
Last week, Snyder’s-Lance confirmed that it had cut 24 Charlotte employees in accounts receivable and accounts payable because it had moved that work to a consolidated facility in Hanover, Pa. That’s where Snyder’s was headquartered before the company merged with Charlotte-based Lance in 2010.
In April, former CEO Carl Lee stepped down unexpectedly. Driscoll was named to replace him in the following months, with the goal of improving the company’s results. The company is due to report its second quarter financial results Aug. 8.
The Monday message to employees said the job cuts are part of a “transformation plan” for the business.
“An important element of our transformation plan is to optimize our workforce alignment with the more streamlined processes we are putting place across each function in the company,” Driscoll wrote. “This is not a decision that was made lightly, and we sincerely appreciate how difficult this news is for our impacted team members and their families.”
Driscoll was the former CEO of Diamond Foods, maker of Kettle Chips, Pop Secret popcorn and nut snacks. He was appointed to the Snyder’s-Lance board when that company acquired Diamond in 2016 for nearly $1.3 billion. Snyder’s-Lance also agreed to assume $640 million worth of debt from Diamond.
In May, Driscoll said Snyder’s-Lance was “moving aggressively to take action” after reporting that, while profitable, the company missed growth targets. Heavy promotional and marketing spending and higher business costs weighed down Snyder’s-Lance’s growth and canceled out synergies expected from the Diamond acquisition. The company reported a profit of $11.2 million for the quarter, as its revenue jumped almost 20 percent with the addition of Diamond Foods, to $531 million.
The company has been focusing much of its investment on “better-for-you” snacks, foods with fewer calories and less fat than traditional snack foods such as chips.
Lance started in Charlotte in 1913 and still has a prominent manufacturing on South Boulevard. The combined company’s lineup of snack foods includes Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, Lance peanut butter sandwich crackers and Pop Secret.