Merck KGaA Announces Job Cuts

Apr 24, 2012

Merck KGaA has revealed further details about its previously announced restructuring program, including plans to eliminate approximately 580 jobs. A further 750 positions will be transferred from Switzerland to alternative sites primarily in Germany, the US, and China.

The company will close its Merck Serono headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and consolidate all headquarters functions in one site in Darmstadt, Germany. Of the current 1250 current positions in Geneva, 500 will be cut to eliminate duplications and the remaining 750 positions will be transferred. The aim of the transfers is to leverage scientific expertise in the biotechnology hub of Boston, Massachusetts, and to ensure clinical development in all key growth areas.

Despite the Swiss closure, Merck added in its statement that it intends to maintain a manufacturing and marketing presence in Switzerland. Currently, the company operates three manufacturing sites in the country in Aubonne, Corsier-sur-Vevey, and Coinsins. As part of the restructuring, operations in Coinsins will be transferred to the Aubonne site, and 80 jobs across all three sites will be eliminated. Out of the 750 jobs that will be transferred, more than 130 positions related to technical manufacturing in Geneva will be moved to Aubonne. The company also intends to maintain its Swiss market operations in Zug.

“The planned measures for Merck Serono’s operations in Switzerland are needed to ensure our global competitive position in a rapidly changing market and to secure the long-term future of the company,” Stefan Oschmann, executive board member of Merck and responsible for the Merck Serono division, explained in a statement.

Merck first announced the restructuring plan, and warned of upcoming workforce reductions, earlier in 2012.