Summary: As with Merck, a good chunk of Wyeth's 5,000 layoffs were sales positions. First, 1,240 reps were handed the pink slip in March. A month later another 1,200 were cut.
The eliminations are part of Wyeth's "Project Impact," a restructuring initiative announced in January that Wyeth hopes will help it survive impending generic competition and FDA-approval setbacks. The company said it will cut 10 percent of its workforce--5,000 jobs--by 2011. Wyeth will continue to spend the same amount on R&D, but will cut its therapeutic areas from 14 to six, and will narrow its focus down to 27 diseases, from 55.
What does this mean for Wyeth researchers? Overall, the number of scientific jobs won't change, but there will be layoffs--primarily for those whose skills are not transferable to other areas, the company said. Four to six percent of the company's ranks are expected to be cut by the end of this year.