Roche Pharma lays off 770 in Switzerland

Company will cut back 8,400 jobs in two years for $2.4b annual savings

Hundreds laid off - Photo Roche

Basel, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Roche has been true to its word earlier this year that it would make “significant” job cuts after setbacks in its drug business: Wednesday morning 17 November the company said that it is cutting back 6 percent of its workforce.

“Operation Excellence”, as the restructuring programme is being called, will cost the company CHF2.7 billion a year for 2010 and 2011, but starting in 2011 it should bring savings of CHF1.8b and, from 2012 on, the company expects to save CHF2.4b a year.

The bulk of the 8,400 jobs to be cut are in the US, 3,500, with 1,300 in Europe and 770 in Switzerland. The rest are spread throughout the world. The most strongly touched area is the pharmaceutical division, in particular production and sales.

The company announced stable sales in October, for the end of its first three quarters.

Links to other sites: Roche press release, Financial Times background story, TSR (Fre)