The Top 10 Layoffs of 2010

As 2010 comes to an end, and the year's layoff total tops 50,000, we're releasing our fourth annual layoffs list, highlighting the 10 largest job cut announcements by company. AstraZeneca takes the top spot this year, marking the third time in four years the drugmaker has made our layoffs list. And after two years on top, Pfizer has fallen to second place as it continues to integrate with Wyeth. As Big Pharma prepares for the patent cliff, many blamed their increasing job cuts on pharma's new focus: emerging markets. Some buffered the impending job losses with transfers and jobs created in new markets.

Sales jobs in particular were hit hard again this year, culminating in the recent report of Sanofi's cattle-call approach to informing sales reps of their status. Half of this year's list are names that didn't appear last year: Roche, Bayer, Abbott, Takeda and Novartis.

To see more detailed accounts of all this year's announcements, both those in the list and those that didn't make the cut, click here, or continue on to start the report.


1. AstraZeneca - 8,550

2. Pfizer - 8,480

3. GlaxoSmithKline - 5,201    

4. Roche - 4,800

5. Bayer - 4,500

6. Abbott Labs - 3,000

7. Sanofi-Aventis - 2,500

8. Takeda - 1,400

9. Novartis - 1,400

10. Bristol-Myers Squibb - 840


Editor's note: Previously Genzyme was included as number 10 on our list, but the company has reported that only 293 employees were affected by layoffs. They have been removed from the list, and Bristol-Myers Squibb has been made number 10. We regret the error.

The Top 10 Layoffs of 2010