Cadbury said yesterday it will restructure its activities in Britain and Ireland, resulting in the dismissal of several senior executives.
The changes are part of the company's ongoing drive to improve profit margins in the confectionary division and get rid of underperforming operations worldwide. "The decision to focus on confectionery will allow the management team to reduce complexity and duplication and simplify decision-making, thereby enhancing its ability to grow revenues, margins and returns," Cadbury said in a statement. Cadbury Schweppes will split current responsibility for operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa into two. One division will be responsible for Britain, Ireland, Middle-East and Africa (BIMA). The other will focus on the rest of Europe. The new head of the BIMA region will be Matt Shattock, while Chris van Steenbergen will control the European division. Jim Chambers will continue to be responsible for the Americas regions while Rajiv Wahl will remain head of Asia Pacific operations.
The reorganisation means that a number of senior leaders have lost their jobs, the company stated. While Cadbury did not name the executives, the Economist today reported that Simon Baldry, managing director of the UK confectionery business, is leaving the company along with eight others. Baldry was in charge of the business when the company was forced to make a recall of chocolates contaminated with salmonella. The recall cost the company £30m (€44.5m) and led to the Birmingham City Council charging Cadbury for allegedly failing to report to food regulators that its private testing had found the rare strain in its products. The company also plans to leave its head office in Berkeley Square, London. The global head office will be merged with the UK confectionery head office and the new BIMA region office. The combined office will relocate to Uxbridge, near Heathrow.
Several other restructuring plans surfaced in the past few months, such as the separation of Cadbury's confectionery and Americas beverages business, reported by the company March 15 of this year. Yesterday the company announced the sale of businesses in Australia, Canada and Italy, and has sold beverages businesses in about 180 markets since 1999.