Kimberly-Clark: Thousands of people expected to be out of a job worldwide

    Kimberly-Clark offices are seen in Fox Crossing, Jan. 23, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

    NEENAH (WLUK) -- The maker of Huggies and Kleenex is planning to cut thousands of jobs worldwide. The company, Kimberly Clark, headquarterd in Neenah for more than a century, said it needs to reduce its costs.

    The company employs 3,200 people at several facilities in the Neenah region. The city's mayor said the company's footprint goes well beyond its facilities.

    "They're the third highest water customer, they use a lot of water and they are the 9th highest tax payer to the city of Neenah, so those are things that concern me as Mayor," Dean Kaufert told FOX 11.

    There are also Kimberly-Clark facilities in Appleton and Marinette.

    Kimberly-Clark is not yet saying where the cuts would take place, or if any of the cuts would be in Wisconsin.

    Kaufert said, "They have a lot of supply chain customers, so if you lose a major company like this or they downsize, what impact is that going to have on the suppliers that they use to make their products?"

    Kimberly-Clark said along with cutting 5,500 jobs world-wide, it also plans to sell 10 manufacturing facilities. The company said it expects to save $550 million over three years.

    Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson expressed his concerns saying "This has been a rough six months of the Paper Valley. First, Appleton Coated, then US paper Converters and Appvion, now Kimberly-Clark. My thoughts go to the workers and their families; I pray our region will be spared."

    In the Neenah area alone there's around 8 facilities. Although its unknown if there will be any job cuts in Neenah, Mayor Dean Kaufert said he's staying optimistic.

    "They recognize that Neenah's where they've grown and we've been there from the beginning, the history's there and that means a lot for people who live in this area."

    Kaufert said the skilled workforce and the upgraded technology in Neenah will hopefully help the city during times of a downsize.

    The company said it does not have a set timeline for when it will announce specifics on where the cuts will be.

    According to its website, Kimberly Clark's been in business more than 145 years founded by four men named Kimberly, Clark, Babcock and Shattuck.

    It moved its wordlwide headquarters from Neenah to Irving, Texas 33 years ago.

    Its operations stretch worldwide with 42,000 workers in 35 countries. Roughly 5 percent of that workforce is in northeast Wisconsin.

    Among its recognizable brands are Kleenex, Cottonelle, Kotex, Huggies, and Scott.


    A previous version of this story indicated that the company employs 2,200 people in the Neenah area. The company now says it has 3,200 employees in the Neenah area.

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