Lilly plots consolidation of Indianapolis quarters

In a move designed to help teams work together at its downtown headquarters, Eli Lilly says it is planning to pull out of an Indianapolis office park. "Lilly sees the benefits of deeper collaboration within our own walls," CEO John Lechleiter says in a statement about the move (as quoted by the Indianapolis Star).

The shift comes at a time of continued cost-cutting at Lilly, which has been restructuring and laying off employees to streamline its operations. Last year, the company announced a $1 billion cost-cutting plan that included 5,500 job cuts by the end of 2011. Lilly says this latest real-estate move isn't part of that plan; indeed, the company will have to pay to renovate a downtown building to house the displaced workers.

But it is the latest in a series of consolidation moves in the Indianapolis area. In 2007, the company brought another set of workers back to its main campus to have them closer to the departments they supported, the paper reports. And as the company continues to cut jobs, its workforce in Indianapolis could be whittled away, making that office-park space less necessary.

"Right now, we do a fair number of teleconferences with people six or eight blocks away," Johnston Erwin, global brand development leader for Lilly's bone, muscle and joint group, told the IndyStar. "After the move, we will all be on the same site. We can just walk to someone's office."

- read the IndyStar story

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