J&J to cut 8,000 jobs worldwide by 2011

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Johnson & Johnson will slash headcount by 6-7% – between 7,020 and 8,190 of its 117,000 employees worldwide – as part of a broad restructuring.

The company declined to provide a more detailed breakdown of where the cuts might fall, saying only that the reductions are a global action across all of its 250 far-flung units, whose products include drugs, devices, diagnostics, OTC medications and consumer packaged goods.  

The downsizing is expected to save the company $1.4 billion-$1.7 billion per year once fully implemented in 2011, with $800 million-$900 million in savings expected in 2010. Cost savings, said J&J, “will be achieved primarily by reducing layers of management, increasing individual spans of control, and simplifying business structures and processes across the company's global operations,” with job cuts forming “only one component of the savings.”

J&J's Carol Goodrich, director of corporate media relations, told MM&M that the move will mean the reallocation of resources to “promising innovations and growth opportunities” including: new long-term growth platforms, including Elan's Alzheimer's program, Crucell's vaccines and Cougar's prostate cancer candidates; new product launches, including those of Nucynta, Simponi, Stelara, Invega Sustenna and Trueye; promising drugs in the pipeline, including Xarelto, teleprevir, Sedasys, Pinnacle and Fibrin Pad; growth of core businesses; and increased flexibility.

“We are preparing now for a changed and evolving future,” said Goodrich.

In April, J&J announced it would eliminate 900 positions at its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit by the end of the second quarter. In 2007, the company said it would slash its workforce by 3%-4%, with the company's pharmaceuticals business and Cordis unit, in particular, targeted for cost savings.

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