Based: Basel, Switzerland
Announced layoffs: 1,025
Novartis ($NVS) has not rolled out major cost- and job-cutting plans like some of the other drugmakers have. Its announcements have come more in dribs and drabs. CEO Joe Jimenez and Chairman Joerg Reinhardt are more into selling off, or, if new reports are accurate, trading assets, picking up cash and potentially trimming the payroll along the way.
|Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez|
But some cuts have been announced. First, 300 jobs were to be whacked from its troubled over-the-counter plant in Lincoln, NE. The company decided it would close an Alcon plant in Canada this year and said 300 workers would be let go when that happened. It was just manufacturing taking hits. The Swiss drugmaker also decided it no longer needed an R&D site in Horsham, U.K., so there went 299 jobs. While execs were thinking about the U.K., they decided to pull marketing and sales support for the company's diabetes and COPD products there. That decision claimed 72 sales jobs. There were another 54 cuts at a vaccine operation in Emeryville, CA.
Some of the cuts were the result of a "strategic review" of the company's assets undertaken by Reinhardt after he became chairman this year. He has said that pharma, generics and the eye care unit Alcon are all safe; Novartis sees them as core businesses, each with the critical mass to be formidable competitors in their respective markets. That is not the case for vaccines, over-the-counter drugs, animal health and diagnostics. The company has already agreed to sell its blood diagnostics business to Grifols, the Spanish healthcare company, for $1.7 billion. More recently, it has been reported that it is into doing a trade with Merck ($MRK), exchanging its vaccines and animal health operations for Merck's OTC business. It is anybody's guess what cuts might happen if a trade is made.
-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)
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