As Part of Global Restructuring, GlaxoSmithKline Pink-Slips 650 in the U.S.


As part of an earlier announced restructuring program, UK-based GlaxoSmithKline is laying off 650 staffers in the U.S. Included in the layoffs are about 100 of 1,000 people in the South Philadelphia offices at the Navy Yard that focus on marketing, sales and support. Another 100 jobs cut are in the Research Triangle Park area in North Carolina.

According to company spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne, as reported by Reuters, these savings from the layoffs will help bolster funding in research and development, and commercial support of new products.

GlaxoSmithKline employees approximately 15,000 people in the U.S. The restructuring has a goal of reducing more than $500 million from its global expenses, which it will then reinvest into R&D.

In the Philadelphia area, the company employs about 3,500 people. This group, located at its research-and-development offices at Collegeville, are not targeted in the layoffs.

According to WRAL TechWire, GSK employs about 2,900 people in North Carolina, about 2,000 of them in Research Triangle Park. In her statement, Rhyne said, “These charges are part of a major global restructuring program announced at our Q2 Results that aims to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of GSK’s cost base.”

She went on to say, “In the U.S., we are facing several external and internal drivers of change as we look at our Pharma business over the next several years. Although we are growing, our aim is to deliver competitive growth and at the same time invest in our R&D ambition for the future. In some areas, we will be making reductions in positions and in others we will be changing the way we work. The savings from this restructuring will be fully reinvested in R&D and to support commercialization of new products, which will fuel innovation and our future growth.”

Employees losing their jobs will be offered severance packages.

North Carolina State University (NCSU) economist Mike Walden told WRAL TechWire that GSK isn’t leaving the Research Triangle Park area but is working to become more competitive. He also added that the area was a very attractive one for workers. “If you’re going to be unemployed somewhere in the country, this is an excellent place because we’re one of the most dynamic, fastest growing regions in the country.”

Rhyne stated, “We remain committed to the U.S. and continue to see it as a positive environment for future investments as we develop and deliver our next generation of innovative Oncology medicines and build capacity for our global vaccines business. We are committed to North Carolina and RTP. A substantial number of employees working in the U.S. Pharma, Global Manufacturing and Supply, and Global Support Functions (HR, IT) remain in the state. RTP remains our largest commercial site in the U.S., and is the home base for Jack Bailey, our President of U.S. Pharmaceuticals. RTP is also the U.S. headquarters for ViiV Healthcare.

ViiV Healthcare is a joint venture created by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline focused on HIV research. In 2012, Shionogi joined the company. Currently, 76.5 percent of ViiV is owned by GSK, 13.5 percent by Pfizer and 10 percent by Shionogi.

As reported by The News & Observer, GSK plans to cut 100 positions at RTP, 450 in its field sales force in all 50 states, and 100 positions in Philadelphia. There will be no job cuts at the Zebulon, NC site, which employs about 900 people.

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