2. AstraZeneca - Top 5 layoffs of 2007

Back in January, AstraZeneca announced that it would cut 3,000 jobs as part of a three-year plan to streamline the company’s global supply chain and find $900 million in savings by 2010. In July, AstraZeneca more than doubled the planned cuts to include 7,600 employees, or about 11 percent of its workforce. The cuts were primarily to the company's European sales and marketing operations along with R&D in a variety of countries around the globe. Analysts regard the cuts as a smart move and evidence of a fundamentally strong company.

Despite strong quarterly earnings, the company said the cuts were necessary to prepare for the lean times coming years. AstraZeneca is facing generic competition for its heart drug Toprol XL and is also working to fill its pipeline after several disappointing finishes for its experimental therapies. The company has made a number of big acquisitions this year, including the massive $15.6 million buyout of MedImmune and a $400 million development deal with Silence Therapeutics in the hot RNAi field.

- see this excerpt from AstraZeneca's quarterly report

AstraZeneca Timeline:
Big Pharma brings home the cash, slices payroll. Report
AstraZeneca lays out road map for recovery. Report
AstraZeneca announces restructuring and buyout. Report
AstraZeneca to continue ambitious deal-making. Report
AstraZeneca snares MedImmune in $15.6B buyout. Report
Silence shouts about $400M AstraZeneca deal. Report

2. AstraZeneca - Top 5 layoffs of 2007