Bayer announced Thursday that it will cut around 1,250 jobs from its pharmaceutical division as part of a wider staff-reduction plan that will lead to the loss of about 12,000 positions from its global workforce of 118,200 employees by the end of 2021. The streamlining is part of an overhaul under which the company will exit the animal health business in order to focus on its core areas of pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science.
CEO Werner Baumann said “these changes are necessary and lay the foundation for Bayer to enhance its performance and agility,” adding “with these measures, we aim to take full advantage of the growth potential for our businesses.” However, Mr. Baumann noted “we are aware of the gravity of these decisions for our employees. As in the past, we will implement the planned measures in a fair and responsible way.”
According to Bayer, approximately 900 jobs in R&D in the pharmaceuticals unit will be cut, while around 350 positions will be eliminated following a decision not to utilize a factor VIII facility it has built in Wuppertal, Germany. The company explained that within the haemophilia business, the launch of new drugs has led “to a significant increase in competition,” and in order to remain competitive it will focus all recombinant factor VIII production in Berkeley, US.
Bayer indicated that it assessing “available options” for the animal health unit and will allocate the investment resources necessary to support the division to its core businesses. The company said that an “essential step” for its pharmaceuticals division is an increased focus on external innovation, coupled with the continued development of its pipeline. Bayer added that steps include “accelerated development of the innovation model and a restructuring of internal R&D activities,” with freed up resources used to investment in collaborative research models and external innovations.