Jobs under threat at AstraZeneca

29 January 2010
29 January 2010 | Carly Chynoweth

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has announced that it will cut 8,000 jobs over the next four years. Its global procurement function may be affected by the plans, although the company was unable to confirm any details.
“The numbers announced today are global. It applies across all global functions including supply chain, recruitment and development and sales,” a spokesman told SM.
He was unable to say which specific roles or regions would be affected. He said a consultation was in progress and more information would be available “within a few weeks”.

AstraZeneca has already cut 12,600 positions in the past two years, including 4,250 in its global supply chain, as part of its restructuring programme. Within the 8,000 extra posts are 350 positions from supply chain operations. These follow AstraZeneca’s decision to exit its North Ryde manufacturing site in Australia in December.
In a statement to SM, CPO Jon Kirby pointed out that his department has already had a major overhaul. “At AstraZeneca, procurement has undergone significant transformation over the past several years and has delivered significant benefits across the company by driving cost reduction and incremental supply chain value in such areas as risk mitigation, quality, service, speed to market, intellectual property protection and productivity.

"Our focus has been on continuous improvement. As the company
steps up its drive on externalisation, emerging markets development and cost management, procurement will continue to play a critical role in the company’s success in delivering on these strategic priorities."

The company expects to lose a total of 23,000 jobs between 2007 and 2014, although those figures do not take into account investment in some parts of the business that has included new hires. It hopes the cuts will help save £1.1 billion by 2014, also said that some research and development sites may close.
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