Novartis CEO comments on 2200 planned job cuts

Any closure at Ashton-Under-Lyne facility would affect approximately 140 Recipharm employees.
Any closure would affect approximately 140 Recipharm employees.

Novartis has announced changes to their global manufacturing network which is reported to result in the loss of approximately 2200 jobs in Switzerland by 2022. Novartis have announced the cut of 1500 jobs in manufacturing and the relocation of 700 management positions to sites across Dublin, Hyderabad, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City and Prague.

The measures are intended to increase operational efficiency, profitability and preserve its ability to provide patients with revolutionary drugs in a rapidly changing health sector.

In line with its manufacturing strategy launched in 2015, Novartis plans to continue to adapt its industrial device to its portfolio of products moving towards a decrease in the number of mass-produced products in order to focus more on innovative specialised and personalised medicines. The result is a refocusing of the investment strategy that shifts away from more traditional production technologies to more advanced manufacturing platforms.

The company will offer its full support to all employees concerned, including the establishment of an employment centre and inviting staff representatives and executives in Switzerland to discussions.

Taking into account the impact of the planned restructuring and the already announced division of the Alcon division, Novartis expects that approximately 10% of its global workforce will be maintained in Switzerland while this market represents less than 2% of its total sales. Once the planned changes are implemented, Novartis’ workforce in Switzerland in 2022 is expected to be about the same as in 2008, with the vast majority of employees with global functions in advanced manufacturing, R & D and enterprise management.

Vas Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer, Novartis said, “We are continuing our efforts to transform Novartis worldwide into a more efficient and agile organisation that can innovate sustainably and deliver breakthrough medicines to patients. We are aware of the impact of today’s announcement on potentially affected employees and their families. Although it is planned to spread the changes over four years, we wanted to communicate them as soon as possible and in a transparent way. We will do everything possible to help our employees who are likely to be affected to overcome this difficult transition. The strong commitment of Novartis to Switzerland is not in question.”