Troubling Times for Shire as Execs Jump Ship and Employee Satisfaction is at an All Time Low

Published: Sep 06, 2017

Troubling Times for Shire as Execs Jump Ship and Employee Satisfaction is at an All Time Low
August 31, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

BOSTON – A new report indicates employee satisfaction at Shire Plc has fallen significantly.

A review of website Glassdoor indicates that employee satisfaction has fallen dramatically over the past year at the company. More than 20,000 employees have expressed their concerns on the website and Shire ranks 24 out of 26 biopharmaceutical companies on the “overall satisfaction” scale, Reuters reported.

Some of the reviews on the website suggest that employees have a difficult time finding a balance between work and their everyday lives. There are also some questions as to whether or not upper management is on the same page when it comes to a “clear direction” for the company.

One reviewer was critical of the company’s strategic direction. The reviewer, who has a “negative outlook” for the company, said that strategic direction “feels like it is constantly changing, and people cannot follow or understand the CEO's direction.” Other criticisms suggest employees “burn out quickly” and have to constantly adjust to change within the company.

Another unhappy reviewer said the acquisition of Baxalta has been negative internally for employees.

Even some who said the company was a good place to work were critical of the leadership team, calling into question a lack of “direction and focus.”

“Pick a direction and stick with it, you cannot constantly change the wheels on the bus while it is still moving,” said the satisfied reviewer, who claimed to be an associate director based in Boston.

That rating slipped from the previous year when it and Baxalta, which it acquired in 2015, both ranked in the middle of the pack, Reuters said, citing a United Bank of Scotland (UBS) analysis of job satisfaction. That drop in employee satisfaction coupled with some leadership departures at the company prompted UBS to cut its price target on company stock. UBS reduced the 12-month price target from $57.94 per share to $52.73 per share, Reuters said.

An internal polling from Shire disputes the Glassdoor reviews. Joanne Cordeiro, Shire’s chief human resource officer, told Reuters that internal surveys tell a different story. Shire’s survey paints a “more encouraging picture” of employee satisfaction, Reuters said.

“We are in the late stages of significant corporate transformation as we have evolved into the global leader in rare diseases,” Cordeiro told Reuters. “Our internal engagement marks for Shire are high despite these changes. We are focused on working to ensure we continue to build the best organization for our employees, patients and shareholders.”

While Cordeiro defended company satisfaction, the company has been in the middle of a shakeup of its leadership team. Last week, Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Poulton announced he was leaving the company in order to take over the CFO spot at Indigo Ag Inc., a startup agriculture company that spun out of Flagship Pioneering. Poulton said he wanted to be part of a smaller organization where he could play a significant role in its growth and scale.

Cordeiro, Shire’s human resources chief, was a beneficiary of that leadership shakeup. She was tapped for that role after former human resources head Ginger Gregory left Shire for Biogen.

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