Shire plans to relocate over 500 positions to Massachusetts from its Chesterbrook, Pa., site and establish Lexington, Mass., as the company’s U.S. operational headquarters. The transition is a continuation of the company’s “One Shire” efficiency program and will streamline business globally through two principal locations—Massachusetts and Switzerland—with support from a limited number of regional and country-based offices around the world.
Simplifying operations in two principal locations will increase efficiencies, and Shire expects to realize approximately $25 million in annual savings beginning in 2016. This strategy also will enable greater alignment and execution of priorities between the company’s commercial and R&D teams to more effectively bring innovative products to patients, as well as strengthen collaboration and cross-development of employees.
Flemming Ornskov, M.D., CEO, said, “We’ve made the decision to consolidate our U.S. operations in the Massachusetts area to streamline operations and drive further efficiencies in the way we run our business and serve patients. Shire has a great opportunity to combine our Chesterbrook and Lexington talent with the leading biotech resources in the Massachusetts area, and we consider ready access to these resources an important element in the future growth of our company.”
Shire plans to move employees in several phases beginning in the first quarter of 2015 and targets completion by the first quarter of 2016. All directly impacted employees who do not relocate will be offered severance, outplacement service and other employee assistance.
James Bowling, interim chief financial officer, will be leaving Shire Feb. 28, 2015. Jeff Poulton, head of investor relations, will assume the role of interim CFO effective January. The CFO position will be based in Massachusetts.
Poulton joined Shire in 2003 and has held leadership positions in finance supporting the neuroscience, gastrointestinal and rare disease business units. He oversaw the rare diseases business unit operations in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific, and most recently led the integration of Viropharma’s rare disease products into the Shire portfolio.