Sanofi looks set to announce cutbacks and re-orgs in France:
In addition to Toulouse, research jobs could go in Montpellier, southern France, in addition to Strasbourg, eastern France, as well as Chilly and Vitry-sur-Seine near Paris.
A number of vaccines unit and support jobs could also be slashed as part of the reshuffle.
Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher, a German Canadian who is Sanofi's first non-French top manager, is now focusing on France as part of his drive to boost productivity in research labs company-wide after wielding the axe in other countries.
"The reality is that our research in France hasn't really come up with a new medicine in 20 years and therefore we have to take a much more productive approach to how we do this," he told analysts in July. "It is a reorganization within France. It's not externalizing research to other countries."
The company is regrouping its research operations around the world into regional hubs - such as Boston, where its rare disease unit Genzyme and cancer research labs are based - while shuttering other laboratories.
That's not going to be popular, given France's history of lively labor relations. But everywhere else in the Sanofi world has heard the swish of the ax, so it can't come as that much of a surprise, can it?
Update: well, here's the announcement itself. And maybe this is my first impression, but compared to what's gone on in other Sanofi sites (like Bridgewater), this one comes across like a shower of dandelion fluff. No reduction in the number of sites, no actual layoffs - just 900 positions to phase out, mostly via attrition, over the next two years. The Toulouse site is the only loose end; that one is the subject of a "working group" to figure out what it's going to do, but I see no actual language about closing it.