In July 2011, in the midst of a challenging business environment, the company announced the latest phase of its global restructuring program (the “Merger Restructuring Program”), which was initiated in conjunction with the merger of the legacy Merck and legacy Schering-Plough businesses.
The Merger Restructuring Program was intended to support Merck’s strategic direction as a customer-focused, innovative and diversified global healthcare company, and enable the company to invest in key areas for future growth, including emerging markets, biologics, vaccines and consumer care.
As part of this latest phase, the company expected to reduce its workforce, as measured at the time of the merger by an additional 12 to 13 percent across the company worldwide. A majority of the workforce reductions in this phase of the Merger Restructuring Program related to manufacturing (including Animal Health), administrative and headquarters organizations.
Previously announced workforce reductions of approximately 17 percent in earlier phases of the program primarily reflected the elimination of positions in sales, administrative and headquarters organizations, as well as eliminations resulting from the sale or closure of certain manufacturing and research and development sites and the consolidation of office facilities.
From the inception of the Merger Restructuring Program through December 31, 2012, Merck has eliminated approximately 22,400 positions through employee separations, as well as the elimination of contractors and vacant positions.
In October 2008, Merck announced a global restructuring program (the “2008 Restructuring Program”) to reduce its cost structure, increase efficiency, and enhance competitiveness. As part of the 2008 Restructuring Program, the company expects to eliminate approximately 7,200 positions—6,800 active employees and 400 vacancies—across the company worldwide. From the inception of the 2008 Restructuring Program through December 31, 2012, Merck has eliminated approximately 6,400 positions through employee separations and the elimination of contractors and vacant positions.
The company will continue to hire employees in strategic growth areas of the business as necessary, and will continue to pursue productivity and operational efficiencies and regularly evaluate its manufacturing supply chain capabilities.
While we believe these actions are necessary to support Merck’s competitive advantage, they are difficult decisions that will impact some of our colleagues, their families and local communities. We are committed to making these decisions in a responsible way, with respect, transparency and open, ongoing communication. Eligible employees affected by restructuring actions will be able to receive benefits and other services that may include severance pay, continuance of healthcare benefits and outplacement services.
For updated information on Merck’s restructuring program, please see our most recently filed quarterly and annual reports.
Last Updated July 24, 2013