Nail-biting at Genentech as layoffs start

Pink slips have started flying at Genentech's South San Francisco headquarters. In the wake of its buyout by Roche, the company has been in the throes of restructuring, with a major management reshuffle and now job cuts. The company won't say just how many employees will ultimately be shown the door, but told the San Francisco Chronicle that so far the cuts have affected "less than one percent" of Genentech's Bay Area workers.

Not that the cuts are a complete surprise; Roche said from the get-go that it expected to streamline the combined company's cost structure. Still, tension tends to run high when voluntary buyouts and layoffs begin, even if they're expected. The cuts are concentrated in administration and late-stage research, with few job losses expected in manufacturing. All six of the company's manufacturing and distribution facilities will stay open, the company said.

Genentech spokeswoman Caroline Pecquet said the terminated workers would get cash severance and continuing health coverage, along with job-placement services. Plus, they'll remain on the payroll for 60 more days.

- read the Chronicle story