In this May 8, 2013 file photo, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Coca-Cola is revising its pay plan for executives after shareholders including Warren Buffett expressed disapproval and called it excessive. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
In this May 8, 2013 file photo, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Coca-Cola is revising its pay plan for executives after shareholders including Warren Buffett expressed disapproval and called it excessive. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
In this May 8, 2013 file photo, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

(New York Times) – Coca-Cola said on Thursday that it was cutting 1,600 to 1,800 jobs globally as part of $3 billion in costs it hopes to pare over the next several years.

“We do not take decisions about job impacts lightly,” the company said in a statement. “We have committed that we will ensure fair, equitable and compassionate treatment of our people throughout this process.”

The company said in the fall that it would cut jobs but did not say how many until Thursday. The company had 130,600 employees worldwide as of December 2013, the most recent figure available.

Sales of sugary soft drinks continue to decline as more health-conscious consumers adjust their eating and drinking preferences. As the industry leader, Coca-Cola has not made adjustments to its business until now, while PepsiCo and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group started making cuts a few years ago.

In the quarter that ended Sept. 30, net income fell 14 percent to $2.1 billion, or 48 cents a share, as sales of its flagship Coca-Cola portfolio dropped 3.5 percent.

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