Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

MillerCoors Will Change Name, Add Local Jobs

In global shakeup Milwaukee a winner over Denver and could gain hundreds of jobs.

By - Oct 30th, 2019 03:14 pm
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MillerCoors will consolidate its “functional support roles” from several locations across the country to Milwaukee as part of a revitalization plan. It will also take on a new name.

Molson Coors Beverage Company, as the brewing conglomerate will now be known, will establish an operational headquarters in Chicago and close its Denver office as part of the up to $180 million plan that will result in a companywide loss of up to 500 jobs.

The shakeup comes as the company faces increased pressure from changing consumer preferences and the growth of craft breweries. Net sales have fallen 3.1 percent through the first three quarters of 2019 after a 2.1 percent decline in 2018.

“Our business is at an inflection point. We can continue down the path we’ve been on for several years now, or we can make the significant and difficult changes necessary to get back on the right track,” said Molson Coors President and CEO Gavin Hattersley in a statement.

The number of new jobs coming to Milwaukee, and whether any of the 500 positions being eliminated would be in Milwaukee, remains unclear. At a press conference Mayor Tom Barrett said that “hundreds of jobs” would be coming to the city. “Milwaukee will be the benefactor of this consolidation,” said Barrett. The mayor, who said he has been working on the deal for weeks with company representatives and officials from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, said the positions would be white-collar jobs with good salaries. He said the Milwaukee 7 was involved to provide expertise on relocations for the employees expected to come from Denver and other cities.

Barrett said the city and state would be providing a subsidy for the deal, but declined to provide specifics.

The company has 610 corporate jobs and 750 brewery jobs in Milwaukee according to a company representative. It invested $50 million in expanding its second brewery, at 1515 N. 10th St., in 2017 and relocated the production of Crispin hard cider to the facility. The company announced a global business service center, anticipated to employ approximately 150 people, in 2017 for the company’s Miller Valley campus along W. State St. as part of a $45 million investment in the campus. The state provided incentives to back the latter deal.

SABMiller created MillerCoors as a joint venture with Molson Coors in 2008 and in 2016 sold its share of the venture to Molson Coors as part of its merger with Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The Miller Brewing name and suite of products, including Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft and Leinenkugel’s, will live on as a brand within the Molson Coors company.

As part of the changes, the company intends to invest in its legacy brands, shorten its research and development time on new products and look to expand into new markets. “We’re not going to have to make the tradeoff decisions that we made in the past,” said Hattersley during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

According to the Denver Post, the company employs 300 people at its Denver office. It will maintain brewing options in Colorado, but close the current Molson Coors headquarters in a downtown Denver office tower in favor of MillerCoors’ Chicago headquarters.

The company’s current Chicago headquarters, located near the Willis Tower, is located within two blocks of Union Station, the southern end of the Amtrak Hiawatha Service that provides seven daily roundtrips between Milwaukee and Chicago. The company’s Milwaukee office campus is led by MillerCoors chief legal officer Kelly Grebe.

Molson Coors is the largest brewery in the United States. It will reorganize itself into two business units, North America and Europe.

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