Novartis

Based: Basel, Switzerland
Announced layoffs: 2,283 

To say that Novartis ($NVS) "announced" any specific number of layoffs would be a misstatement. The world's second-largest drugmaker by 2014 revenues can talk verbosely about plans for focusing or improving margins, but the talk gets more guarded when it comes to details.

So while the numbers for most of the companies on the list have to do with cuts companies announced in 2014 but which may play out over a year or more, with Novartis we went to their public filings and the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions noted for the end of last year compared to the year before. Do the math, and you see that they had nearly 2,300 fewer FTEs. There were 491 fewer in general and administration, 1,393 fewer in sales and marketing, 530 fewer in research and development and an actual increase of 131 in production and supply.

Many of the administrative jobs can probably be traced back to Novartis' plans announced early last year to cut or shuffle up to 4,000 jobs in its pharma business, with many of the positions moving to a new operations center in India, a low-wage country where even the same number of jobs would cost it less. The company also targeted about 525 jobs last year with the closure of its Diovan drug plant in Suffern, NY, after generic competition to that heart drug eventually surfaced.

The FTE numbers for Novartis could be a lot different next year after all of its deals to slim down get finalized, including its swaps with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), most of which are closing this year. GSK has taken over most of Novartis' vaccine business, while Novartis gets most of GSK's oncology assets. The two also created a joint venture, which GSK will run, for their consumer health operations. On top of that, Novartis sold its animal health business to Eli Lilly ($LLY) and has a deal to sell its flu vaccine business to Australia's CSL. If the Swiss drugmaker is fuzzy again this year about how many jobs are being dropped, or added, then we will just have to look it up. 

-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

For more:
Novartis unloads last piece of vaccines puzzle to CSL for $275M
GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, starring players in a Big Pharma deal bonanza
Report: Novartis reorganization quietly claims 3,000 jobs in just 4 months
Novartis slashing thousands more jobs in global reorganization, shifting many to India
Now it's New York: Novartis eyes another 500-plus job cuts with plant shutdown

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