Aug 17, 2007

Amgen Taking The Downsizing Diet Pill

This announcement comes of the heals of AstraZeneca laying off 10%.

Other CEO’s should be embarrassed by the class that Mr. Sharer has shown in the way he has handled the job cuts at Amgen.

From an article by Luke Timmerman and Angela Zimm on
Amgen will be “downsizing” 12 to 14 percent:

“Amgen Inc., the world's largest biotechnology company, will slash jobs for the first time in its 27-year history, close plants and cut capital spending in response to declining sales of its top-selling drug, Aranesp.”

Posted in the RumorMill section of was an August 15 memorandum from Kevin Sharer, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President:

“Downsizing is the most difficult thing a company can do. We do not take lightly the need to do this. We have added 13,000 people to Amgen since 2001 and returning to 2006 levels will not be easy.”

At least Mr. Sharer sounded sincere and has given these cuts the importance they deserve, instead of hiding or spinning the devastating effect that the lost jobs have on real people. He also addresses severance issues in his memo:

“Tomorrow, we will announce the details of a voluntary transition program for eligible staff members in the United States. Certain staff members who reach 55 points through a combination of age and service (with a minimum of 5 years service) can apply for a package that is designed to help them transition into an early retirement or to pursue other interests. Approximately 2,300 people meet these eligibility criteria. This program can help those staff make that transition, and it will also reduce the number of staff who will be affected in the overall reduction in headcount. We will also continue our hiring freeze and tightly manage attrition and backfilling of open positions. We expect to complete the restructuring process with a targeted reduction in force.”

The August 15, Press Release: Amgen Restructures Due to Lower Aranesp(R) Revenues While Continuing to Invest in Innovation and Future Growth

To link to the August 16, Video to employees:
CEO speaks to staff

Click here for a
list of U.S. locations.

Posted as a reply to the memo:

“First to go are the people that were hired from Lilly and Merck during the last five years, start with RF. The downsized bretheren are waiting for them at the gates with iron fists and bats.. A__holes pissed a lot of money down the drains with their zany ideas..”


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