. announced today that it will vacate its Tarrytown complex and move its beverages unit to the Chicago metropolitan area by the end of 2012. "A total of 440 Tarrytown employees will be affected," Mike Mitchell, Kraft's senior director of corporate external communications at Northfield, Illinois, said.
"One-hundred-forty research and development engineers and personnel will remain in the New York/New Jersey area," Mitchell said. "but whether they work in Tarrytown or another nearby site in the area hasn't been determined as yet."
Mitchell said, "We realize this is a tough decision and it will have a lot of impact on the Tarrytown employees involved." He revealed that 225 non-technology employees are being offered the option to move to the "Chicagoland" area. The fate of 75 employees is uncertain.
Kraft plans to eliminate about 1,600 positions in North America during 2012. It had 600 employees at the Tarrytown complex and nearby offices in 2008 when a countrywide job reduction was introduced, attributed at the time to rising ingredient prices and the weakening economy. It has been more than 10 years since Kraft abandoned the campus on Westchester Avenue in Harrison/White Plains.
Kraft is splitting into two companies. "When we announced our decision to create two world-class companies last August, we said both would be leaner, more competitive organizations," said Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO.
The North American grocery company will spin off later this year. Tony Vernon, Executive Vice President and President, Kraft Foods North America will become CEO of the future grocery company. The future global snacks company will also have its headquarters in the Chicagoland area; the choice of a site is currently under consideration. The North American region headquarters for the global snacks company will be based at the East Hanover, New Jersey campus.
The company's 40 major brands include Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, Philadelphia, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Maxwell House, Tang and Trident. Many of its foods and snacks, including Oreo cookies, date back at least 100 years; Oreo is the largest selling cookie in the world.
Kraft Foods had sales in excess of $42.9 billion in 2010.
Kraft Foods is located at 550 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY. 914-425-2500. www.kraftfoodscompany.com.