Pfizer animal med spinoff Zoetis could axe 25% of workforce after Ackman pressure
- Zoetis, the $22 billion animal health pharmaceutical giant that was spun off from Pfizer, is considering shedding up to 2,500 jobs as part of a major cost-cutting measure, Bloomberg reports. That amounts to 25% of the company's workforce.
- The company is reportedly considering the mass layoffs in the face of pressure from Bill Ackman, the activist investor who has tried to mold the futures of several major pharma companies. Ackman bought an 8% stake in Zoetis last fall.
- Zoetis wants to reign in $300 million in savings by 2017. In addition to the job cuts, the pharma will shutter or sell off 10 manufacturing sites and consolidate its geographic dispersion.
According to Zoetis, these steep cutbacks could boost the company's operating profits by $200 million in 2017.
The move also shows just how much power Ackman has over the companies he invests in, even after the drawn-out drama between Valeant and Allergan produced nothing for him and his associated investment firm Pershing Square. According to Bloomberg, Zoetis also added two board members recommended by Ackman. There have also been rumors that Ackman could eventually force Zoetis into striking a deal with Valeant at some point down the line.
Zoetis reported earnings more or less in line with analyst estimates.