Employees 2013: 76,000
Employees 2012: 83,000
% Change: -8.43
Revenues 2013: $44.03 billion
Revenues per employee 2013: $579,381.58
The ongoing Merck ($MRK) makeover has led to cuts across the board for a few years now. In the fourth wave of major cuts since 2008, patent cliffs and fierce generics competition left Merck officials handing out 7,000 pink slips in 2013. The restructuring plan was expected to cut spending by $2.5 billion, an essential move after a year with $3.24 billion in revenue loss.
The shrinking strategy included many cuts in manufacturing, a decision Merck officials made after the patent on its lucrative allergy drug, Singulair, expired. It's not just the loss of patents that has been pulling Merck down. Merck has faced a number of drug development setbacks in the past few years. Not to say it hasn't been productive, but after significant R&D investments, some promising drugs like sleep drug suvorexant and anesthesia treatment sugammadex have been major letdowns.
After four years of cuts, the layoff total comes to around 40,000. Even so, revenue was down 6.84% by the end of 2013 and revenue per employee ranked fifth among the 10. But CEO Kenneth Frazier is not done reshaping the company, and so the numbers will probably be smaller again at the end of this year. He unloaded the consumer unit to Bayer for $14.2 billion this year and is still deciding the fate of its also-ran animal health unit.
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