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GSK on the brink of announcing thousands of job cuts?
  02 February 2009
Pharmaceutical stocks have shown defensive qualities in the last tumultuous months, but they haven't escaped the problem of competition from cheaper, generic drugmakers. GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceutical firm, is poised to reduce its headcount as cheaper generics threaten to further dent its profits.
The UK's largest drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is preparing to announce thousands of job fatalities alongside it quarterly results on Thursday, according to The Sunday Telegraph and other media reports.
Following in the footsteps of AstraZeneca, which last week said it plans to shed 15,000 jobs by 2013, the move to slash between 6,000 and 10,000 of GSK's 100,000-strong workforce reportedly forms part of a business strategy designed to help the company weather the current tough conditions in the pharmaceutical industry and global economy.
The company could not be reached for comment on the rumours, but media reports suggest that the redundancies will be unveiled as part of its drive to reach cost-savings of 750 million a year by 2010, as first announced back in 2007.
Meantime, GSK revealed that Deirdre Connelly is joining the company as President of North American Pharmaceuticals on February 9. Deirdre was formerly President of US operations at Eli Lilly, a position she has held since 2005.
Explaining the move, Andrew Witty, GSK's Chief Executive Officer, said: "GSK's US pharmaceuticals business is a critical component of our strategy and future performance. It is also operating in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment. As an accomplished senior leader within our industry, Deidre is somebody who truly understands the needs of patients and our customers and can drive the efforts we are making to reshape this business and improve future growth."
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