Employees: 113,719

Employees: 111,974
Change: -1745, -1.6%

Revenues: €33.389B (approx. $44.342B)

Revenues: €34.947B (approx. $46.412B)

Sanofi ($SNY) CEO Chris Viehbacher ran into a buzzsaw last year when he started talking tough about job cuts in the home country. The French drugmaker needed to find $2.6 billion in annual savings as generic competition ate away at its blockbuster blood thinner Plavix. He said R&D costs in France were much too high, and he scorned its efforts for not producing any big new drugs in 20 years.

Viehbacher initially said it would eliminate up to 2,500 jobs in France, where it had 28,000 employees. But after employee strikes and a thrashing by politicians, the number ended up being far fewer. It finally landed on eliminating 900 jobs through attrition. It has backed off the possibility of whacking the 600 positions at its R&D facility in Toulouse.

Sanofi had fattened in recent years during a string of acquisitions to diversify. It picked up 10,000 employees in 2011 with the buyout of Genzyme. When it was all said and done, though, the company last year slimmed down a bit, about 2%. More cuts may be the picture, but so may be more deals.

For more:
Sanofi - Top 10 pharma layoffs of 2011
French minister backs Sanofi on job-cutting plans
Sanofi argues its R&D costs are too high, but backs down on Toulouse