Sanofi opens new $47M headquarters in U.K. with plans to employ 500

So far, as Sanofi's CEO Paul Hudson has embarked on a “listening tour” by visiting the company’s operations at various sites around the world. This week, that tour took the CEO to the U.K., where Sanofi has opened a new £37 million headquarters. 

Hudson and other Sanofi representatives met with Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock for the HQ opening ceremony at the Thames Valley Park in Reading, Pharmafield reports. Sanofi plans to employ 500 people at the facility. In all, the drugmaker has spent £37 million ($46.9 million) on the 70,000-square-foot office, and it's consolidating three other offices in the country into its new facility, according to the publication.

Sanofi UK Managing Director Hugo Fry said the park is “well located and connected, but also home to global technology leaders and one of the best places for life sciences in the world,” as quoted by PharmaTimes. 

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The opening of Sanofi’s new U.K. headquarters follows news that the company plans to open a new shared services site in Hungary, where it intends to employ 350 people. The drugmaker has also said it’s trimming its headcount in Japan through voluntary early retirements

And the company is considering strategic options in Bangladesh, it confirmed, after local reports said the drugmaker planned to exit the country. 

Those moves follow years of restructuring under former CEO Olivier Brandicourt. Sanofi in June chopped 466 jobs in its R&D organization in France and Germany as part of a pivot away from cardiovascular diseases and toward cancer drugs and gene therapy. In April, the company said it planned to lay off an undisclosed number of U.S. sales staffers as it continued to deal with pricing pressure. 

The company employed 104,266 workers at the end of last year, down slightly from 106,566 at the end of 2017 and 106,859 at the end of 2016. 

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Hudson, meanwhile, joined the drugmaker from Novartis last month and has been meeting with executives and employees to formulate a new strategy for the company that he plans to unveil at an event in December. As Hudson reviews the business, he's aiming to take an “objective” look at all of its operations, including diabetes.