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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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March 4, 2014

Novartis's Stealthy Headcount Reductions

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Posted by Derek

Novartis has always been very, very quiet about their re-orgs and layoffs, to the point that when I and others write about them, we get hits from people at Novartis trying to find out what's going on. John Carroll at FierceBiotech has experience this as well, and he now has this story, from a reporter at the Swiss Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, that says that the company has actually eliminated between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs since last fall.

That comes to about a thousand in Europe (500 of them in Basel), 760 in the US (mostly in the sales force), and 400 during the closure of Horsham in the UK. My impression is that many of the others represent various manufacturing sites. Congratulations to the Zürich newspaper's Andreas Möckli for digging all this out - it could not have been easy. Here's my translation of the introductory paragraph:

It's a proven pattern for the drug company - Novartis is built up, worldwide, from various sites, but the whole extent of its actions are never communicated. While other companies inside (and outside) the industry announce their staff reductions with concrete numbers, Novartis is often content just confirming local media reports. At its Group level, the company has never announced any job cuts, even though jobs are lost in different locations. . .

Comments (6) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


1. anchor on March 4, 2014 9:03 AM writes...

Major pharmaceutical companies including those in the USA are eliminating jobs at will in a surreptitious manner! Nothing new about that!

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2. anchor on March 4, 2014 9:04 AM writes...

Major pharmaceutical companies including those in the USA are eliminating jobs at will in a surreptitious manner! Nothing new about that!

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3. anonymous on March 4, 2014 10:31 AM writes...

"760 in the US (mostly in the sales force)"

I thought I read cancer discovery in Emeryville was hit last fall

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4. Quintus on March 4, 2014 11:14 AM writes...

We got any info. about the company from the local press and radio, hours maybe even a day before we were told anything. They don't give a damm.

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5. Anonymous on March 4, 2014 1:21 PM writes...

Small correction to your translation: It does not say "Novartis is built up from various sites worldwide" but "Novartis cut jobs at various sites worldwide" in the German original ("abbauen" vs. "aufbauen" or "aufgebaut sein").

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6. Anonymous on March 5, 2014 9:23 PM writes...

If anything is left at Novartis Emeryville in two years it would be a surprise

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