Pfizer is slimming down the head count ahead of Albert Bourla’s official coronation as the new CEO at the start of 2019.
The New York-based pharma giant has set its sights on some increased efficiency in the way it’s structured, and that will require them to shed about 2% of its 90,000-some work force, or roughly close to 2,000 jobs. And they’re offering buyouts to encourage some staffers to leave voluntarily.
Pfizer’s stock $PFE was up 1.5% on Wednesday.
According to CNBC, which got a look at the internal docs circulated among staffers, the company plans to lay off staffers if necessary to achieve its goals, which involves a simpler management structure aimed at more nimble movement of the business — now being divided into three separate organizations.
“As we simplify the organization to avoid duplication, create single points of accountability and reduce the number of layers within teams, there will be an impact to some managerial roles and responsibilities across the organization,” the company reportedly told the rank and file. Cuts will focus on non-union workers.
Pfizer’s spokesperson is sticking with the upside in their statement about the cuts.
As we prepare for growth, we’re creating a simpler, more efficient structure, which will affect some managerial roles and responsibilities. We’re offering enhancements to certain benefits to lessen this effect. In total, we expect only a couple percentage points of our global colleagues to receive these benefits.
We are creating a simpler, more efficient structure so that we can achieve our full potential for growth. This is about creating a simpler, more efficient structure and not achieving cost savings.
These kinds of reorganizations are standard fare in Big Pharma. GlaxoSmithKline is still undergoing a restructuring, looking to shift more money into R&D, where Hal Barron has been doing his own revamping. Eli Lilly made some moves on Dave Ricks’ recent elevation to the CEO’s job. Novartis continues a relentless search for efficiencies in true Swiss style, while even Roche took the axe to Genentech recently. The big Takeda/Shire merger is disrupting thousands of jobs, still to be decided. And rumors about new changes to come at Bayer and other companies continue to circulate.
Pfizer certainly doesn’t mind using the axe when necessary. The company recently chopped out its neurosciences group, cutting 300 staffers in R&D. And execs haven’t been reluctant to warn that they’ll continue to cut when and if they decide it’s necessary.
Workers taking severance deals get a “base salary of 12 weeks, plus three weeks of salary for every year of work, up to 104 weeks,” CNBC reports. They can keep benefits for up to three years and staffers over 55 with 10 years at the company qualify for early retirement.
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