Merck recently announced to Pennsylvania that it plans on terminating about 500 positions early in 2020 at two Montgomery County facilities. The cuts will be primarily out of the Human Health Division according to a letter sent to the state Department of Labor & Industry by Terri J. Lee, vice president of governmental affairs and policy. The cuts will commence Jan. 3 and end Jan. 16.
Cuts Associated with Commercial Operations HQ
Apparently, according to Pamela Eisele, the eliminated positions are associated with Merck’s U.S. commercial operations headquarters in Upper Gwynedd for administrative purposes. Merck has a significant presence in Pennsylvania and according to The Morning Call is one of the 20 largest private-sector employers in the state.
Cutting in some areas; Growing in others such as Oncology
Although Merck is cutting many positions they are also hiring in segments such as oncology. Hence “this is not a restructuring effort” reported Eisele but rather “part of ongoing companywide efforts to sharpen Merck’s focus on innovative research and development that addresses significant unmet needs and our best opportunities for growth.”
With its corporate headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey Merck makes a continuous stream of changes since 2010—it continues to shrink its real estate footprint and improve efficiency in its manufacturing network—eliminating 2,160 positions in 2018 while outlaying $632 million in restructuring activities. This is less than the previous two years.
Merck has 25,400 employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and worldwide has about 69,000 employees. Their sales for 2018 was $42.3 billion.