By David A. Wise
MILWAUKEE — Although the corporate headquarters of the merged Miller-Coors brewing company is located in Chicago, Miller-Coors Senior Vice President Mike Jones says the company remains committed to Milwaukee.
Jones told Milwaukee Rotarians at their weekly meeting Tuesday that Miller-Coors still has “a huge corporate presence here,” one that is bigger than in Chicago or Golden, Colo.
Jones said Miller-Coors has moved 175 jobs from Milwaukee and about 175 jobs from Golden to Chicago, which he said are mostly marketing jobs and some executive positions. The move he said, was done to ensure the new headquarters was on a neutral site and because it’s easier to attract top marketing talent to Chicago and to maintain relationships with top advertising firms.
Jones said maintaining a major Milwaukee presence makes sense from both a business and heritage perspective.
“This is a big market for us. We have a 70 percent market share in the Greater Milwaukee area and we’re going to protect it,” Jones said. “We’re committed to this community.”
Jones noted that Miller is invested in the Milwaukee Brewers, the Green Bay Packers, Summerfest, the United Performing Arts Funds, the Zoological Society, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and other causes.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Jones said. “We’re not backing away from any of those commitments. … We have been here since 1855 and we intend to be here for a lot longer.”
Jones quipped there are no plans to change the name of Miller Park to Miller-Coors Park nor are there any plans to change Coors Field to Miller-Coors Field.
Jones said the company has invested $50 million in the Milwaukee brewery in order to start producing Coors Light, and it is in the process of hiring more production workers.
With Coors now being produced at more breweries since the merger, Jones said the company has saved considerably on shipping costs as a result, which contributed to a 26 percent increase in net income for the first half of 2009.