Merck Is 2011’s “Job-Cuttingest” Pharma Company: 13,000 In 2011 Alone


And that follows some 25,000 to 30,000, over the last three years (between the now-combined companies).

So — it is probably appropriate that this run as a latter-day Bob Cratchit story (for those that remain, at least), and right before the Ghost of Christmas to Come appears (for those that have departed).

Most of the layoffs announced in May 2011 actually occured in October of this year. Still, it makes for a tough holiday for those 13,000. Our thoughts are with them — as we’ve “once been there“; all we can say is that “it will get better.” In time. So try to be of good cheer — being down about it won’t change it. That much is certain.

This, is a bit from the FiercePharma story, this morning — do go read it all:

. . . .Perhaps the most persistent trend in the drug business is one management would prefer to discuss only with analysts, and certainly not with the rank-and-file. Once again, a laundry list of pharma companies are laying off workers by the thousands. Companies. . . [including] Merck, which in May announced plans to cut up to 13,000 jobs.

Before Merck revealed its latest cost-cutting plans, it looked as if 2011 might be a relatively blood-free year. And it’s true the numbers don’t approach the layoffs announced in 2009, when Pfizer merged with Wyeth and Merck with Schering-Plough — and both mega-mergers resulted in mega-job cuts. . . .

But saying it isn’t as bad as 2009, is really cold comfort. And for that, I am truly sorry — but it does need to be marked. Merck was the layoff champion in pharma, in 2011. In many ways, though, all current CEO Frazier was doing was cleaning up the mess Ex-Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan left him, as a coal-bin to ashes legacy. Unfortunate. So Hassan’s Fortune “accolade“, from last year, runs here — at right.

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