Your 'role will be removed': Whole Foods fires workers in 7-minute leaked conference call

  • Whole Foods just slashed its marketing staff as Amazon pushes the brand to cut costs.
  • Business Insider obtained a recording of the seven-minute phone call in which the layoffs were announced.
  • The terminated marketing employees must continue to work until July 2 to collect their severance pay.

Whole Foods just decimated its marketing staff.

Business Insider obtained a recording of a seven-minute conference call on Thursday, during which Nicole Wescoe, the president of Whole Foods’ northeast region, announced the cuts.

Wescoe said the position of store graphic artist and all regional marketing office positions below associate coordinator would be terminated. The cuts are companywide and do not apply to only Whole Foods’ northeast region.

It’s not clear exactly how many jobs will be affected, but the company operates about 450 stores and 11 regional offices in the US.

Wescoe said the move was a result of the company’s efforts to centralize “the creation and production of signage and decisions around signage needs.”

“This means that the SGA role will be removed from the Whole Foods Market structure,” she said.

To collect severance pay, the Whole Foods store graphic artists must work until July 2 because the brand is not yet ready to replace its signage.

The severance package features two weeks’ pay for each year of employment, up to 26 weeks’ pay. Employee benefits will last until the end of July.

“I want you guys to understand that decisions like this across the company – it is no reflection on how we value you, the work you do, and how you show up every day,” Wescoe said.

Wescoe also described opportunities for the affected staffers to apply to other roles.

“We will help support, partner, and champion you to find another position within Whole Foods Market,” Wescoe said. “If you believe that you want to stay with the company and move forward, I want to tell you that I will make it my business to help you do just that.”

Whole Foods, which was acquired by Amazon last year, has been moving away from its localised approach in the past year, shifting other roles to its Austin headquarters and changing its supply chain and inventory methods to cut costs.

If you’re a Whole Foods worker with a story to share, email [email protected]

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