Merck to shutter longtime NJ HQ in corporate reshuffle

For the past 20 years Merck ($MRK) has called its HQ campus in Whitehouse Station, NJ home. Now it's decided to vacate the premises and shutter the facilities, relocating its CEO and some 2,000 staffers to new digs scattered around New Jersey. And it's billing the reshuffle as a sign of its increasing corporate agility.

The pharma giant's new global headquarters will be in Summit, NJ, where 1,800 staffers currently beaver away at such tasks as R&D, manufacturing and consumer care. For anyone who can't fit into Summit, Merck will offer new offices in Branchburg and Cokesbury, NJ.

"The relocation of our headquarters will help us achieve our future vision, reduce the size of our operating footprint, and increase agility as we adapt to our changing business environment," said CEO Kenneth C. Frazier in a statement.

The move will take a considerable amount of time to pull off. The relocation will get started in 2014 and finish up in 2015. 

The prospect of more empty biopharma space in New Jersey won't likely excite state economic development officials. But after losing huge R&D operations at Sanofi and Roche, the state must be breathing a big sigh of relief that its marquee pharma player will continue to call New Jersey its home state.

- here's the press release

Special Report: Merck - Top 10 pharma layoffs of 2011

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