AstraZeneca Cuts 2,300 Sales and Administration Jobs
From Guardian Web (March 21, 2013)
AstraZeneca has announced 2,300 sales and administration job cuts just three days after slashing 1,600 research and development roles. It takes total job losses at the British drug company over the past 13 months to more than 11,000.
As Astra’s new chief executive announced the latest job cuts he praised his staff’s "talent, determination and focus to deliver for patients as well as shareholders".
Pascal Soriot said the move was part of the company’s "unambiguous commitment" to "focus, accelerate and transform our business". The cuts will cost the company $2.3bn (£1.5bn) in restructuring charges.
The company, which employs 51,700 staff worldwide, declined to say how many jobs will be lost among its 6,700 British workforce.
UK staff were the worst hit in cutbacks announced on Monday, comprising 700 of 1,600 job losses as the company consolidates its research and development facilities.
Those cuts will be felt hardest in George Osborne’s Tatton constituency, where 550 Astra staff will lose their jobs and another 1,600 employees have been told to relocate.
Those cuts are part of Astra’s decision to close its historic Alderley Park R&D facility in Cheshire and relocate its research headquarters to Cambridge.
More than 7% of Osborne’s employed constituents, including, he says, "some of the world’s most skilled and experienced science professionals", work at Alderley Park. The chancellor is also likely to face questions about the £5m grant the government gave Astra to develop the site into a "bioscience cluster" just five months ago.
When Astra was given the grant by the regional growth fund in October, the company said it was "grateful" for Osborne’s support in securing the money. Dr Chris Doherty, project leader for Alderley Park, said: "A number of people have been working hard behind the scenes to get us to this stage. In particular, we are grateful for the support of the Right Honourable George Osborne."
Doherty said Astra was "very excited about the potential of this initiative and the prospects for a dynamic science cluster in the north west".
Osborne did not respond to requests for comment about his role in securing the grant. The chancellor said the job cuts were "obviously very difficult news for people directly affected by the decisions around Alderley Park".
"I have worked hard with AstraZeneca over the last few weeks to make sure that a substantial number of jobs are kept there and will work closely with Cheshire East council and the government taskforce we are creating to bring new companies to the site," he said. "We are all determined that Alderley Park shall remain a success story and at the heart of our local community."
A spokeswoman for Astra said the funding was "on hold".
Posted: March 2013