Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's going on at Foster's Wine Estates?

I hear rumors flying about layoffs at Foster's Wine Estates...
Two I can confirm, but the number & locations of the others are still amorphous...some reports are saying there may have been many more, but until I can get my sources to confirm where and when they are happening I don't have concrete info to pass along. I will update as soon as I can....
It is interesting to note that Foster's was until very recently looking for a few more production staffers for their North Coast operations. I counted three local openings on for that company, but only two are production positions, and six positions advertised there total with locations all the way to Florida. Perhaps this is a management /marketing department weighted reduction? But perhaps this was in the works for a while as Foster's has been in the process of separating their wine and beer portfolios from each other, and follows on the heels of some $240 Million worth of vineyards and property going onto the market (which they likely won't see full price on). They have also recently changed the marketing director for their Australasian Wine division. Reports are that they originally were looking to sell off their wine holdings, but couldn't get a good price for the ~$4 Billion estimate they were hoping for.
Not good news for the industry as the California layoffs continue from the big players.
So far we've seen Kendall-Jackson, Diageo, and Brown-Forman...all of them tightening their belts back toward the start of the year (Feb~Apr).  Is Foster's now joining the ranks?
Good luck to you all out there....


Blogger George said...

Hello Vini:
You can add Heck Estates (Kenwood, Valley of the Moon, and Lake Sonoma) to the list of wine marketers laying people off - six people were laid off in April from various positions around the country.

June 26, 2009 8:59 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Thanks, Goerge.

Sad to hear of more from anywhere, but at least we can hope anything further we see in the industry is small number "fine tuning", and not the 10~25% layoffs we saw at the start of the year.

BTW, I'm not hearing much about Foster's other properties at this time, so maybe someone just panicked when a couple of positions were dropped...hopefully they're in better shape and don't need to go that route.


June 27, 2009 7:28 AM  

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