Employees: 123,686

Employees: 127,724
Change: 4,038, 3.2%

Revenues:  $58.566B

Revenues: $56.673B

Novartis ($NVS) has always been what FiercePharma Editor Tracy Staton calls a box-of-assorted-chocolates kind of company: brand-name prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, veterinary products, dietary supplements, diagnostic tests, generics, vaccines. When it bought Alcon in 2010, it added eyecare and 15,000 employees to the mix.  

The idea is that when one segment is feeling pain, there are several others to ease it. That strategy has not entirely worked. While the company is among the largest in revenues, it still saw sales fall last year in every key operating unit but Alcon, even as it added employees in each of them. That is why it falls in the bottom third of companies when ranked by revenue per employee.

Novartis did see branded-drug sales grow in emerging markets by 6%, including double-digit increases in China and India. Pharma sales in those markets hit $7.4 billion.

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