Evofem makes top-to-bottom cuts to save cash, slashing CEO pay by 40% and eliminating positions

Evofem Biosciences is making top-to-bottom cuts in a bid to slash its costs. Months after laying off 39 people, the women’s health biotech has pushed more employees, including its chief commercial officer, out the door and cut the salary of its CEO by 40%.

The latest round of changes is intended to reduce payroll expenses at Evofem by 39% and support its goal of reaching cash flow break-even by the end of the year. To make the savings, the company has eliminated eight office and management positions, consolidated three sales territories and cut the pay of the remaining members of its executive team.

Evofem CEO Saundra Pelletier, whose base salary in 2021 was $812,083, has agreed to a 40% reduction in her salary. The other remaining members of the executive team will receive 20% less than the prior year. Pelletier acknowledged the pressures the changes will put on the remaining employees. 

“It was a difficult decision to restructure our already very small workforce and ask remaining team members to work harder for less pay. This decision is critical to our long-term success and our ability to align resources to enable us to continue providing Phexxi to women seeking hormone-free prescription contraception,” the CEO said in a statement.

Evofem began 2022 with 51 full-time employees, plus consultants that helped it with work including R&D activities such as regulatory filings and clinical trial operations and support. The failure of a phase 3 trial of EVO100 in the prevention of chlamydia and gonorrhea infection in women—and subsequent ending of the clinical program—led the biotech to reduce its head count by 39 employees in November.  

The elimination of eight more positions means Evofem now has a tiny team. Members of that team have been tasked with turning the business around while taking home less money than in the past. The goal is to eke out Evofem’s cash, which stood at $7.7 million at the end of September, while trying to grow sales of the contraceptive vaginal gel Phexxi. Evofem began looking for strategic alternatives last month.