ConAgra cuts 1,500 jobs; moving HQ from Omaha to Chicago

Friday, September 25, 2015, Vol. 39, No. 39

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra is cutting about 1,500 jobs, or approximately 30 percent of its global, office-based workforce, and moving its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha, Nebraska.

About 700 workers will be in Chicago starting next summer, including the company's senior leadership as well as some operations for its consumer foods segment that are currently located in Omaha and Naperville, Illinois. The company said Thursday that it will maintain a significant presence in Omaha with about 1,200 employees. Those workers will be involved in research and development, supply chain management and some key administrative functions.

The company, whose products include Chef Boyardee, Slim Jim and Hebrew National hot dogs, said the job cuts exclude plant positions and do not include any impact from the planned sale of its private label operations. It anticipates about $345 million in one-time charges over the next two to three years related to the restructuring.

The changes should create about $200 million in cost savings, with more than half of that realized by the end of fiscal 2017, according to ConAgra Foods Inc. The balance should be achieved in the following year. The company said the savings are in addition to approximately $150 million in cost cuts over the last two years. It anticipates the plans giving a "modest benefit" to fiscal 2016 earnings.