CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte snack-maker Snyder's-Lance Inc, is laying off 250 employees, the company announced in a letter obtained by WBTV Tuesday.
An email, signed by Snyder's-Lance President and CEO Brian Driscoll, calls the change necessary to the company's "process, organizational design and cost structure."
"We have been carefully examining the issues and challenges underlying our disappointing performance, and determining the appropriate pace and pattern of the changes we intend to make," Driscoll says. "The goal is to strengthen our foundation for the long-term, drive a sustainable, step change improvement in our performance, and deliver competitively superior returns to our shareholders."
Snyder's-Lance, one of the top snack makers in the U.S., is headquartered in Charlotte's Ballantyne area.
"I don't see how you can make a decision so quickly and expect good results from it," a former employee said.
Former Snyder's-Lance employees are speaking out. They don't want to be identified because they fear retaliation when it comes to their severance package.
"The amount of hard work and effort we put into that company - and to let us go and didn't even give us time to process," another former employee said.
One worker says her department did a lot for the company. She believes in about eight months the company will regret its decision.
"I think it's going to be messy," the former worker said. "I think the company cut too deep and they don't realize the value of the positions those people held. We kept a lot of costs down, under control and a lot of things under budget."
Employees say they were baffled by the announcement. They say a few months ago leaders talked about adding jobs, not eliminating them.
"Everything was about growth," one former employee said. "How well we were doing, the future of the company, how they were investing in our careers and a promising future... very unexpected."
Last week, the company confirmed that it had cut 24 Charlotte employees in accounts receivable and accounts payable because it had moved that work to a consolidated facility in Hanover, Pa., the Charlotte Observer reports. That's where Snyder's was previously headquartered before the company merged with Charlotte-based Lance in 2010.
Driscoll calls the decision to eliminate 250 positions across the organization "very difficult."
Leaders are expected to meet with those impacted by the change over the next few days and provide details regarding the transition process.
"This is not a decision that was made lightly, and we sincerely appreciate how difficult this news is for our impacted team members and their families," Driscoll said.
It was not immediately clear how many of the 250 jobs were based in Charlotte. Former employees say they are now forced to find other plans to make ends meet.
"I will be dipping into savings at this point," a former employee said. "After the severance package runs out."
Snyder's-Lance calls this job loss part of its Performance Transformation Plan. To read the company's response, click here.