NEW YORK — Coca-Cola Co.'s Columbia Pictures Entertainment unit plans to dismiss as many as 500 employees, or about 14% of its work force of 3,500 people, as part of a previously disclosed restructuring, a published report said Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal cited unidentified executives familiar with the unit's plans as its source for the report, which said the restructuring is designed to cut overhead costs by about $40 million a year.
A spokeswoman for Columbia was not immediately available for comment on the report.
The article said the layoffs are part of the planned merger of Coke's entertainment sector, which includes Columbia Pictures, and Tri-Star Pictures, in which Coke owns a one-third interest.
Severance and other costs associated with the layoffs are expected to consume about $20 million of a restructuring reserve, the report said.
It said the layoffs under way cover all of the motion picture and television operations, both in the United States and abroad, where Columbia is shutting down most of its production operations.