Kimberly-Clark to cut up to 5,500 jobs, close 10 plants worldwide

Company hasn’t released details about where cuts will occur

Jessica Thiel
Posted by of Insight Publications

Kimberly-Clark Corp., the third largest employer in the Fox Cities, announced a restructuring plan that includes eliminating up to 5,500 jobs and closing 10 manufacturing facilities worldwide.

While 2017 net sales of $18.3 billion rose slightly, Kimberly-Clark CEO Thomas Falk says the company is making the change in hopes of making the company leaner, stronger and faster.

Kimberly-Clark declined to disclose locations affected by the move. The restructuring cuts 12 to 13 percent of the company’s workforce. Kimberly-Clark employs approximately 3,200 in the Fox Cities and 225 in Marinette.

“Although we expect market conditions will remain challenging in the near-term, we plan to deliver better results in 2018 while we begin to implement our new restructuring,” Falk said in a press release. “We expect organic sales to return to growth while improving our margins and delivering double-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share. In addition, we will increase investments in our brands, our growth initiatives and the capabilities we need for long-term success.”

The restructuring program aims to reduce Kimberly-Clark’s structural cost base and improve its flexibility to invest in brands, growth initiatives and capabilities to deliver future growth, according to the press release. The company expects the program will generate annual pre-tax cost savings of $500 million to $550 million by the end of 2021

“We believe that, over time, our 2018 global restructuring program will accelerate our return to delivering on our long-term growth objectives,” Falk said. “The changes we are making will improve our underlying profitability, provide more flexibility to invest in growth opportunities and help us compete even more effectively.”