Genentech to slash nearly 500 staffers

Roche Genentech

Genentech is taking the ax to 474 staffers on the West Coast as it looks for a more local feel to its organization.

In a WARN notice picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle, the company said most of the 474 employees set for the ax will be gone by Sept. 18, with all gone by October.

Senior clinical specialists make up the largest group of the layoffs with 116 jobs set to end, alongside 77 clinical specialists.

Genentech, the biotech unit of Swiss major Roche, said the idea was to create a more local focus in healthcare. “The success of our business depends on our ability to continually evaluate, evolve and manage our operations in the best interests of the customers and patients we serve,” Genentech said in a statement to the Chronicle.

“We recently launched a new customer-engagement approach that will transform the way we serve patients, physicians, providers, payors and pharmacies across the country. We are transitioning from a national strategy and organizational model to one focused around local health care ecosystems.”

This comes after Genentech cut around 100 jobs earlier this year; the biotech was at pains to say this latest round of layoffs was not down to COVID-19.

Two years back, it cut 223 jobs from its South San Francisco headquarters following a “business evaluation.” It employs around 13,000 people across the U.S.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the term clinical specialist - these are sales workers, not clinical workers, as previously stated.