Beverage giant Bud Light has announced that it will lay off hundreds of corporate employees as sales of its flagship lager Bud Light have faltered. The job cuts will affect less than 2% of its U.S. employees, approximately 350 people out of its 18,000 employees nationwide.
The layoffs will be across various corporate functions as the company aims to simplify and reduce organizational layers.
The layoffs will not impact brewery and warehouse staff, drivers, and field salespeople, among others. The decision to cut positions comes amid challenges for Bud Light, including a conservative boycott over its March Madness partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which led to backlash from some consumers. Bud Light has also faced declining sales and lost its top spot in the U.S. beer market to Modelo.
Additionally, Anheuser-Busch is the subject of a government investigation in Florida led by Governor Ron DeSantis, who ordered a review into whether the company breached its shareholder duties over the partnership with Mulvaney.
This investigation could potentially lead to a lawsuit on behalf of Florida’s pension fund shareholders, as the state holds $53 million worth of stock in Anheuser-Busch. The company stated that it takes its responsibility to shareholders, employees, distributors, and customers seriously and is focused on driving long-term sustainable growth.