Planned hires take sting out of Genzyme layoffs

As if it intends to use regular antithetical announcements as a way of keeping Boston media outlets off-balance, Genzyme is now accelerating the hiring of manufacturing and quality control workers in Massachusetts. Its plans call for the hiring of 500 to 600 production workers in Massachusetts, beginning last July and extending to the end of 2011, reports the Boston Globe.

The news follows a Boston Herald report from last week saying that the biopharma giant will shed 1,000 jobs worldwide. We had reported a few days earlier on another Globe report, this one speculating that the specialized nature of Genzyme's drugs may be a factor in minimizing manufacturing layoffs.

"The point is to be more efficient and more effective,'' says Ann Merrifield, Genzyme's senior VP for business excellence, in the current Globe report. "As we redesign our operations and processes, there are opportunities to reinvest in higher value operations.''

It's all to show that Genzyme is executing on a five-point plan it unveiled last spring, says Moody's senior VP Michael Levesque, in the article. That plan was created to resolve a long list of manufacturing problems and calm activist shareholders.

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