A few weeks ago, Merck disclosed plans to trim another 12,000 to 13,000 jobs by the end of 2015 in order to save up to $1.5 billion. This is on top of previously announced cuts although efforts to reduce headcount are forcing managers to accelerate their plans, according to Pharmalot.
Merck’s US Market president Mark Timney released a memo informing staffers that cutting expenses by eliminating vacant positions, by itself, just isn’t sufficient to meet targets. And so a handful of departments should brace for layoffs that will be decided by the end of next month. These include marketing & customer solutions; managed markets & policy; strategy & commercial model innovation; and the meuropsychiatric and women’s healthcare specialty sales teams. These are located in Merck’s CIA-like headquarters in rural New Jersey. Volunteers, by the way, are encouraged to ‘hand raise’ if a package seems appealing.
The goal is to bring total headcount much closer to levels that existed before Schering-Plough was acquired; at the time, Merck employed about 53,000 people. As of the end of June, Merck employed about 91,000 people worldwide. Nonetheless, the move is certain to further undermine morale and his approach is prompting some criticism that Merck is being disingenuous about expressing concern for its employees.