AstraZeneca sheds thousands of jobs
London - AstraZeneca tries to shed some weight, anticipating a tough year ahead. 7,300 jobs will be gone soon, the Anglo-Swedish drug company said in a statement. Research and development operations will be cancelled in Södertälje, Sweden, as well as Montreal, Canada. In Södertalje, the company runs a series of state of the art biotechnical laboratories, mainly for research in the fields of therapy for the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Pain Control. Where the rest of the 5,100 job will vanish is not yet specified. AstraZeneca wants to get slimmer on a global scale, it is reducing the regional management groups from five to three - North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. It is the third round of layoffs since 2007, bringing the total up to 28,900. On first look, the cuts seem counter-intuitive as the drugmaker reported a 24 percent increase in 2011 profits to €7.6bn. "We have announced further steps to drive productivity in all areas to improve returns on our investment in innovation”, CEP David Brennan commented. He cites generic competition and reduced government reimbursement schemes as main drivers for the move. AstraZeneca wants to save €1.2bn by 2014.