Rubbermaid, Sharpie maker to cut 2,000 jobs, restructure

Newell Rubbermaid Inc., which makes its eponymous containers and Sharpie markers, said it will trim its workforce by more than 10%, shake up its executive leadership and rework its organizational structure to help streamline the company.

The cuts amount to nearly 2,000 jobs over the next 2-1/2 years and are part of Rubbermaid’s Project Renewal, which hopes to save up to $325 million a year by mid-2015. The funds will be reinvested into growth initiatives globally, according to the company.

Several other large companies, such as Dow Chemical Co. earlier this week, have resorted to slashing jobs in order to keep costs manageable.

Rubbermaid will also rework its structure, nixing its consumer and professional operating groups.  And the company will trim its business segments from nine to six, including tool brands such as Lenox and Dymo, commercial products such as Rubbermaid, writing items such as Paper Mate, baby and parenting goods, home solution options such as Calphalon and Goody and specialty brands.

The executive team went under the knife, the company said Friday. A raft of new names will start in positions such as chief operating officer and other top roles in marketing, supply chain, design, financial and information sectors.  

The Atlanta company said Friday that it is raising its quarterly dividend by 50% to 15 cents a share. The stock price rose as much as 5.7% in morning trading, reaching $21.23 a share.

In its third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, the company earned $108.3 million, or 37 cents a share. In the year-earlier period, Rubbermaid suffered a $177.6 million loss, or 61 cents a share, due to impairment charges.

Revenue slipped to $1.54 billion from $1.55 billion.


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