- GlaxoSmithKline executives on Wednesday confirmed that the company will be chopping hundreds of jobs—approximately 900—in the United States as part of a massive reorganization effort.
- Most of the job cuts will take place at GSK's research campus in North Carolina, with 350 cuts slated for Q1 2015, another 450 firings in the second quarter, and the rest dispersed through the second half of next year.
- So who's safe? Glaxo execs said that while the brunt of the layoffs will happen in North Carolina, some Philadelphia employees will feel the pinch, too. Retail sales and marketing teams will mostly remain unaffected, but the R&D department (including chemists, engineers, etc.) is going to take a massive hit. About half of the jobs may be salvaged, in a sense, by relocating laid off employees to a supplier company (likely Parexel).
There had been whispers about the impending job cuts for some time now. But nobody knew just how many pink slips the company was planning on doling out. As BioPharma Dive has previously reported, GSK hasn't had the rosiest year, with tumbling sales of flagship asthma drug Advair and a record $489 million fine for bribery in China.
Glaxo execs outlined the thinking behind the cuts in an email to FierceBiotech. "Some R&D roles will be relocated to the Philadelphia area and some staff will be offered relocation," said a company spokesperson. "We will be working with local employers to support staff securing re-employment."
"In the US, we are reshaping and reducing the size of our commercial and R&D operations (now 17,000 employees) to be more agile to flex with shifting market demands. Cuts are not being made across the board but are strategic, focused changes to allow GSK to operate more efficiently. This is not a change in our strategy, which has helped us deliver more new medicines than any other company in the industry in the past 18 months. This is a rescaling of work to reflect market forces that were anticipated but that have accelerated and are affecting the entire industry."