Molson Coors moving HQ to Chicago

Nation’s second-largest
brewer intends to
diversify, accelerate,
and reduce expenses
by moving to
The Windy City

Intending to reduce expenses by $150 million, brewer Molson Coors announced last week that it will move its headquarters from Denver to Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The relocation is prompted in part by an industry-wide 5% decline in sales of domestic premium brands like Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite. It will allow Molson Coors to cut 400-500 jobs across the US and Canada as part of its cost-saving efforts.

Approximately 300 of Molson Coors 17,500 global employees are located in the Denver office, and roughly 2,000 work in the state of Colorado, the birthplace of Coors.

Besides the signature Coors, Miller, and Molson brands, Molson Coors’ portfolio includes Blue Moon, George Killian’s Irish Red, Grolsch, Keystone, Leinenkugel’s, Peroni, and Staropramen. The company also announced that in January it will change its name from Molson Coors Brewing Co. to Molson Coors Beverage Co.

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A calculated risk
Describing a “calculated risk” of speed and variety, Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley said that the company plans to start diversifying its portfolio and bringing new products to market in as little as four months, a 14-month reduction from its current standard operating procedure.

“Our company makes some of the world’s greatest beers and our iconic beers have stood the test of time,” he said. “But as the world around us changes … our business performance is lagging.”

Move may affect Chicago
Molson Coors was formed in 2005 when Molson Brewery of Canada merged with the Coors Brewing Company. The company employs a total of 7,300 workers in the US, including 400 at its MIllerCoors headquarters in Chicago.

Molson Coors Chief Communications Officer Adam Collins told the Tribune that the company “won’t have specific numbers” about how many employees will move from Denver to Chicago “until the plan is implemented.”

MillerCoors hired Michelle St. Jacques as its Chief Marketing Officer in January. The former Kraft Heinz Senior Vice President was listed among Adweek’s “20 Rising Brand Stars in Chicago” in 2017.

Upon inheriting the brand portfolio of the nation’s second-largest brewer, she expressed an inspiration for campaigns that merge brand and culture.

“Anyone can buy eyeballs, but creating campaigns that people talk about is a more powerful way to build your brand,” she said. “It’s the new way to think about ROI.”

Three months later, MillerCoors named Leo Burnett its agency of record. The company made the decision after a three-month review, noting that “the Publicis agency will collaborate with other roster shops, including DDB, ICF Next and Leo Burnett Arc, to generate ‘breakthrough ideas to help the brand connect with consumers,’” according to Adweek.

Send your beverage updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton,