Sunday, January 31, 2010

Glaxo Smith Kline to slash 4,000 jobs

BRITAIN’s biggest drugs company, Glaxo Smith Kline, is to axe up to 4,000 more jobs as part of its plans to restructure its workforce and focus increasingly on emerging markets.

The bulk of the cuts will be in America and Europe, and are part of the company’s efforts to shift resources away from low-growth territories into parts of the world with greater scope to expand sales.

Glaxo, which has been headed for nearly two years by chief executive Andrew Witty, employs 99,000 staff across the world and is expected to reveal plans for select cutbacks alongside its annual results this Thursday. This will be combined with a drive to make its research and development arm more cost-efficient.

Although the job losses will not be as severe as those announced last week by its rival Astra Zeneca, they will provide further depressing news for a sector that is fighting to contain costs as it reduces its reliance on big-selling blockbuster drugs, many of whose patents will soon expire.

Last week, Astra revealed it would cut 8,000 jobs. Its chief executive, David Brennan, warned that the company was unlikely to see a rise in sales for five years. More...

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