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Teva looks set to axe thousands of positions and a big name

Published on 23/11/17 at 08:49am

Teva’s troubled year needs little detailing, those following the company have seen it lurch from one piece of bad news to another. With the appointment of Kåre Schultz, the company hopes that it can take some hard decisions to turn around the company – one of the first steps seems to be to fire a large number of staff.

Calacalist broke the story that Teva looks set to axe a significant number of roles in the US and in domestic territory as part of a larger restructuring plan.

The rumours point towards a figure of 25% of Israel-based staff losing their positions, of a total 6,860 employees, while thousands are also expected to be released from US operations that currently employ more than 7,500 employees in the US, according to IMS Health 2015 data.

One region that looks set to not be so dramatically impacted by these global cuts is Europe, which employs 24,000 people, with only minor cuts planned.

A separate part of the story also seems to suggest that current CSO, Michael Hayden, could also be on his way out of the company; the reports emerging from Israel appear to suggest that Schultz already has a replacement for Hayden lined up.

The news of Hayden’s likely departure indicates an uncertainty over Teva’s pipeline; the question of what Teva has up its sleeve became all the more urgent after Mylan was given a surprise approval of its Copaxone generic in the US and the EU.

The decisions are set to put a huge dent in the company’s sales and it is in dire need of promising products to fill the hole that will be blown in the side of Copaxone’s revenue generation.

Schultz gained a reputation, whilst at his former position with Lundbeck, for taking hard decisions on staff levels and he will likely be tested about his resolve to cut 25% of Israel-based staff.

The last time a big decision was taken to cut staff in Israel unions fought the decision tooth and nail, leading to the resignation of then CEO Jeremy Levin over his inability to push the measures through. It looks set to be a stern early test of Schultz resolve.

Ben Hargreaves

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