Report: Merck KGaA eyes job cuts in efficiency drive

Merck KGaA's new pharma chief plans to get his operations into a higher gear. Stefan Oschmann, recruited away from the U.S. Merck late last year, says he's planning to boost efficiency and streamline operations. That effort is likely to involve job cuts, or so says the Financial Times' German edition.

"The ship is sailing in the right direction, but the machine is still not working efficiently enough," Oschmann said at the company's annual meeting (as quoted by Dow Jones). CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley echoed that statement, promising shareholders a "review of the cost structure" and pledging to reduce organizational complexity, increase commercial efficiency and enhance cost management.

And as FT Deutschland reports, the pharma unit is considering job cuts as a way to make that machine more efficient. No word on numbers, but the payroll reductions could particularly affect Merck Serono's Swiss headquarters, the paper reported, citing company sources. Merck's pharma business now employs some 17,000 and still harbors some overlap after the company's buyout of the Swiss drug firm Serono, Börse Online reports.

- see the news from Dow Jones
- read the Reuters article
- get more from Börse Online (in German)