Employees 2013: 135,696
Employees 2012: 127,724
% Change: +6.24
Revenues 2013: $57.92 billion
Revenues per employee 2013: $426,836
Despite 1,025 announced layoffs in 2013, Novartis ($NVS) remains the largest company on this list for a second year and saw the largest workforce growth of any company. The Swiss company's profits, however, saw only modest growth despite the added employees, and its revenue per employee remains on the lower half of the table.
Some of the 2013 cuts were a precursor to the major reorganization that was announced in April of this year. Around 50 vaccine workers were laid off in October as CEO Joseph Jimenez considered selling the branch, which was sold to GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in the April portfolio transformation. A U.K. plant closure and an Alcon plant sale in Canada led to approximately 300 layoffs apiece as well. But ultimately, Novartis added people in every unit, with about 4,000 employees added in its branded pharma division, 1,000 at its Sandoz generic unit and 1,500 at Alcon, the eye care operation.
But this year has seen some reversal of that trend. About 500 employees were cut in Switzerland in January and a New York plant was marked for shutdown in the same month, leaving another 525 jobless. The cuts, linked to the company's reorganization, were partially balanced with job growth at a new operations center in Hyderabad, India.
The completion of the April portfolio change will mark a change in Novartis' direction. In addition to selling its vaccine division, Novartis also sold its animal health division to Eli Lilly ($LLY) in a $5.4 billion deal. The company essentially bought out Glaxo's oncology business in the process and will grow their already-leading cancer treatment lineup. Finally, Novartis and Glaxo will embark on a joint venture to create a leading consumer healthcare business. Needless to say, it is likely the Novartis workforce will fluctuate in numbers as these changes take effect.
This reorganization will see the company depart from its usual tactics. Novartis traditionally kept a hand in every market in hopes that shortcomings in one area could be recovered in another. This strategy has not always succeeded, which is why Jimenez vowed to streamline the company and improve its margins.
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