Employees 2013: 77,700
Employees 2012: 91,500
% Change: -15.08
Revenues 2013: $51.58 billion
Revenues per employee 2013: $663,886
Pfizer's ($PFE) 13,800, 15% headcount reduction in 2013 was the second largest on the list, behind only Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), which like Pfizer hived off a big piece of its operations. In Pfizer's case, it was its animal health unit, which it spun off into Zoetis ($ZTS), pocketing more than $10 billion in the process and saying farewell to about 9,800 people, accounting for 70% of the shrinkage for the year.
The remaining 4,000 jobs were weeded out through CEO Ian Read's ongoing fiscal stomach crunches, designed to make a flabless, more powerful company. After losing its patent on Lipitor in late 2011, it could no longer live large off the back fat of that super blockbuster. Revenues in 2013 were off more than 12%. So the drugmaker closed a clinical research facility in Singapore, the CovX R&D operation in San Diego, and various plants around the world, until it all added up to a significant subtraction. The cuts also meant that the drugmaker had the highest revenue per employee among the 10.
Last year Read also split the company into three operating units, two focused on "innovative" drugs and a third consisting of pieces that he calls Pfizer's "value" business. That gave rise to further expectations that Pfizer might sell or spin off another piece at some point.
After substantial cuts, Pfizer went on the hunt for an acquisition that would give it a larger portfolio of drugs to build revenues off of, making a $100 billion-plus run at the U.K.'s AstraZeneca ($AZN) this year. That offer was rejected, and then rejected again, until Pfizer finally went away. But Read is clearly stalking prey and will likely either make a renewed run at AstraZeneca or buy something else to improve the company's growth outlook, meaning those 13,800 jobs, and then some, could easily be replaced in a single move. AstraZeneca, for example, closed last year with 51,500 employees.
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