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‘Leaner and simpler’: Novartis details plans to cut 8,000 jobs worldwide

For months, Novartis has hinted at layoffs coming for some of its global staff. Now, the news has come down from HQ.

Novartis is laying off around 8,000 of its 108,000 staff worldwide in a bid to save $1 billion, the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger was the first to report. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the move on Tuesday.

The news comes as Novartis works to merge its oncology and pharmaceuticals departments into a singular innovative medicines unit. The move “will allow us to reduce duplications of business structures in every country,” the company’s spokesperson said.

The changes will make Novartis “leaner and simpler,” so the company “intends to eliminate roles across the organization,” he added.

Further, Novartis is combining its technical operations and customer and technology solutions units into a singular “operations” unit. The drugmaker is making progress on all of these changes and has appointed most of its leadership teams.

In Switzerland, Novartis is cutting up to 1,400 positions, the company’s spokesperson said.

Back in early April, Novartis revealed that it would combine its global pharma units into a single structure. Later in that month, company representatives confirmed that “thousands” of jobs were on the chopping block.

But it’s not just staffers being affected. When Novartis unveiled its global shake-up, three Novartis executives were left without positions at the company.

On the flip side, the company recently brought in Ronny Gal, the former Bernstein analyst, to spearhead M&A as its chief strategy and growth officer. The company is eying deals worth around $2 billion or below, CEO Vas Narasimhan has said.

Novartis hopes to have its restructuring done “over the course of the next few months,” the spokesperson said.