8,000 Novartis jobs may be on the chopping block

June 29, 2022

Novartis' previously announced restructuring program may lead to 8,000 jobs being cut —about 7.4% of its global workforce — according to Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, citing unnamed inside sources.

Back in April, Novartis unveiled a new organizational structure and operating model, with an eye on innovation and growth — as well as targeted savings of at least $1 billion by 2024. The Swiss giant's new "simplified structure and operational set-up" will integrate the pharmaceuticals and oncology business units, creating two separate commercial organizations with a stronger geographic focus — Innovative Medicines U.S. and Innovative Medicines International.

A Novartis spokesperson told the Swiss newspaper that it was "still premature to give specific figures at this point in time" regarding the job cuts. However, he confirmed that the "leaner structures” will "inevitably affect certain roles in the organization."

The drugmaker currently reports 108,000 employees globally, including 11,600 in Switzerland. According to Tages-Anzeiger, 1,400 job cuts will occur in Switzerland.

The re-org comes amid a separate discussion about the fate of Novartis' generic arm, Sandoz. Last fall, Novartis resurfaced talks about selling or spinning off Sandoz. According to CEO  Vas Narasimhan, Novartis began an ongoing strategic review of Sandoz to decide if it’s still a good fit with the company’s long-term growth plans back in October. Under Narasimhan, Novartis has sharpened its focus on innovator drugs such as gene therapies, which could impact its decision about whether to keep Sandoz under its sphere.