Skip to Content

ConAgra cutting 1,500 jobs, moving HQ to Chicago

ConAgra Foods Chef Boyardee brand mini ravioli is displayed for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, March 23, 2015. ConAgra Foods, Inc., is scheduled to report its fiscal 2015 third-quarter results on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Photographer:  Daniel Acker/BloombergConAgra Foods Chef Boyardee brand mini ravioli is displayed for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, March 23, 2015. ConAgra Foods, Inc., is scheduled to report its fiscal 2015 third-quarter results on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Photographer:  Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Packaged foods giant ConAgra Foods says it’s cutting 1,500 jobs and moving its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha, Nebraska.

ConAgra (CAG) — best known as the company behind brands such as Chef Boyardee, Marie Callender’s, and Orville Redenbacher’s — made the announcement Thursday that it will layoff roughly 30% of its global, office-based workforce as part of what the company described as an “efficiency plan” meant to result in at least $300 million in cost savings over the next three years. The company said it expects to realize those savings through a combination of a smaller workforce and other spending cuts as well as “outsourcing technology and back office functions to improve scalability.”

The company added that the expected cost savings come after ConAgra saw roughly $150 million in savings from cost cuts over the past two years.

Meanwhile, ConAgra also announced plans to move its headquarters from Omaha — where the company has been based for nearly a century — to Chicago, with roughly 700 employees including senior leadership making the move starting next summer. ConAgra will continue to employ around 1,200 people in Omaha.

In total, the company expects the restructuring will result in one-time charges of about $345 million over the next two to three years.

Thursday’s news comes as ConAgra moves forward with plans to sell its money-losing private label business, which has underperformed despite the company’s heavy investment, led by the $5 billion purchase of Ralcorp three years ago. The deal for Ralcorp had turned ConAgra into the country’s largest private-label packaged food business in the U.S., but the unit’s poor performance led to activist hedge fund Jana Partners taking a small stake in ConAgra earlier this year while pushing for changes in the company’s direction. ConAgra said Thursday that the current round of job cuts will not include any impact from the sale of the private label business.