Company: Merck KGaA
Based: Darmstadt, Germany
Themes: R&D, German operations
Merck Serono's 1,250 staffers in Geneva were hit hard by the parent company's decision to shutter the high-tech campus. But while the pharma company refused to back off of the restructuring, it did go to considerable pains to ensure that the workers wouldn't be left in the lurch.
Of the total, 750 were tapped for transfers inside the company. And a few weeks ago the company detailed how the reengineering was progressing. Merck KGaA said that 260 accepted a transfer, with 35 more still pondering what to do. About 80 took an early retirement offer while 16 joined the three startups that have been spun off so far--with Merck KGaA's help. Quintiles, meanwhile, has recruited 40 Geneva staffers for its CRO operations, which have been expanding around the world.
Last month Merck KGaA said it would follow up by eliminating 10% of its 10,900 positions in Germany, part of a new program aimed at making the company a lean, mean machine in fighting trim by 2018. Most of the 1,100 jobs being eliminated in Germany will go through early retirements and attrition, but the pharma giant warned that the axe will come out at the end of 2017 to make up any final cuts which are needed.
The focus at the company isn't solely on cuts. There's a $315 million blueprint for a state-of-the-art production and R&D center in Darmstadt. The overall company may be shrinking, but the pharma company is intent on reorganizing in style.
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