ADA — Global direct selling giant Amway Corp. is cutting 6 percent of its global workforce or about 900 people, most of whom are based at the company’s world headquarters in Ada, MiBiz has learned.
A spokesperson confirmed that Amway notified eligible employees today about a “voluntary separation plan” aimed at helping the company to better focus on its health and wellness business and bolster its digital presence for its independent business owners and their customers.
The move will largely affect people in “professional roles at our World Headquarters in Ada,” Susan Nemes, manager of global PR at Amway, said in an email to MiBiz. The company expects 90 percent of the expected layoffs, or about 800 positions, will come from its West Michigan operations.
In a memo to employees, the company said it sent the voluntary separation plan to more than 1,000 people. The plan will offer “financial and healthcare benefits above and beyond Amway’s already generous standard severance,” per the memo.
Executive-level employees will receive the offer first and have 45 days to opt into the plan, “after which, involuntary separation of executives will be decided by function.” Other Amway North America employees will be able to opt in “by early May.”
The company expects the majority of the layoffs to take place from July through the end of 2021.
Manufacturing technicians and most maintenance personnel are not eligible for the plan and will be provided with a “unique, enhanced retirement benefit,” which the memo does not detail.
“Whether voluntary or involuntary, with so many of our colleagues and friends departing Amway, we recognize that things will look, feel and seem different for some time to come. The Global Leadership Team is committed to continuing work started to improve the overall employee experience, and we will stick to the intense prioritization we have set forth. This will not end up as a ‘just do more with less’ workplace,” according to the memo.
Executives arrived at the decision “after months of deep discussion and building of cross-functional alignment.”
As part of the restructuring, Amway also plans to shift some Nutrilite manufacturing capacity from Buena Park, Calif. to West Michigan. The move will involve the creation of 125 manufacturing positions locally, according to the memo.
“Nutrition is our fastest-growing category and will lead us into our envisioned future. We aim to continue being an entrepreneur-led health and wellness company; and to manufacture in the United States, the preferred country of origin for these products across the world,” according to the memo.
The company also plans to combine its personal products and skincare plants into one facility in Ada, and will outsource its home care production.
Over the next several years, Amway also plans to move its Midwest Service Center to Ada “to increase speed-to-home for online orders” and to improve the customer experience for the company’s independent business owners.
Amway officials declined to provide further comment.