Pfizer may cut workforce, R&D budget

Pfizer is set to announce radical cuts in R&D spending and headcount, Bloomberg News reported. Pfizer could announce the reductions to its $7 billion research budget and 100,000 person workforce at a Jan. 22 analyst meeting, Deutsche Bank analyst Barbara Ryan said. “We believe they will target a specific amount of savings from R&D,” Ryan said. “R&D is the most focused on efficiencies and process improvements rather than head count reduction. Head count reductions, in addition to sales force, will be company wide.” Pfizer spokesman Andy McCormick said the company will share specifics of its plan at the January meeting. He declined comment in published reports on speculation about what the cuts may include. Pfizer is working with a consulting firm to aid in the transformation, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Its head of human resources has been temporarily replaced with an interim head and worldwide head of drug development Declan Doogan left last month. Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler said in October he would seek to go beyond an earlier plan to trim $4 billion in yearly spending by 2008. Kindler cut 20% of Pfizer’s US sales force in December. Pfizer had fired more than 5,325 employees, mainly in manufacturing, sales and research, as of Oct. 1, the company said in a November filing.

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