Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Are We Over The Hump of Pharma Downsizings? The Answer Is....

I have had many Pharma Reps. calling me this past week wondering if we are over the hump of the downsizings in the pharmaceutical industry. My answer is a resounding, "NO"! Another 1,700 Primary Care Novartis Representatives were waiting by their phone last week and received "the call" that was the not good call, "Sorry but after your 10 years, 15 years or more service we simply don't need you anymore"! This did not include the TOTAL number of Reps. that got the good call (so what is that? 2,000 to 3,000 TOTAL Reps. sweating by their phone 4 weeks before Christmas?). Some did receive, the "lucky you! you have a job"! Are they lucky?

What struck me is that nearly 2 years ago this type of scenario began playing out. I could write that same article today! Take a peek and, by the way, I was unfortunately dead right with this February 12, 2009 Article, Waiting for the Next Downsizing? Praying It Is Not Your Medical Sal...

On top of that, I just received the below news letter TODAY on all Outplacement Service Requests from firms who eliminated people in November and are hiring Outplacement Services for their FORMER employees. Take a look at the mix of companies and industries posted below. Please note that two companies are Pharmaceutical; Bayer and Novartis. I am not sure why the number is off by 300 for Novartis (1,300 below vs. my 1,700 reported), but my direct company source says the number of reps. laid off was indeed 1,700. The number of those laid off (give or take a few hundred) may not be a big deal to you unless, of course, it is YOU! Then again, if you are STILL in the pharma industry, one never knows WHEN it may be you!

Here is the Outplacement Service update Hot of the Press today:

Monday, December 06, 2010



Aerospace & Defense

Europe's largest defense electronics group, Thales, will cut as many as 1,500 jobs, which represents 4 percent of its workforce. The staff reductions are aimed at compensating for a decline in activity in some of the organization's business sectors.

Candidates: 1,500


November 24, 2010


Lockheed Martin Corporation


Aerospace & Defense Parts Manufacturing

As part of a restructuring plan, defense contractor Lockheed Martin will close its plant in Eagan, Minn., eliminating 1,000 jobs there. Approximately 650 jobs will be moved to Owego, N.Y.; San Diego; and Manassas, Va., while 350 positions will be eliminated altogether. The plant is slated to close by 2013.

Candidates: 1,000

Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.),

November 19, 2010


State Street Corporation


Financial Services

Investment management firm State Street Corp. will trim 1,400 positions as part of an expense reduction effort aimed at improving profitability in the face of low interest rates. Layoffs have already begun and will be completed by the end of next year.

Candidates: 1,400


December 1, 2010


New York City



In an effort to deal with a $3.3 billion budget deficit, New York City will lay off 6,200 workers and eliminate an additional 3,800 or more jobs through attrition over the next year and a half. Job cuts will affect the school system, city hospitals, services to seniors, libraries, and cultural centers.

Candidates: 6,200


November 18, 2010


Bayer AG


Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer, best known for aspirin, will undertake a massive cost-cutting initiative in order to shift investment resources to research and development, with a focus on emerging markets. In the process, the company will cut 4,500 jobs.

Candidates: 4,500

ABC News,

November 18, 2010


Novartis AG


Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers

Swiss drugmaker Novartis will reduce its U.S. salesforce in connection with a restructuring plan that involves focusing on specialty drugs as patents for drugs used in general medicine expire. Job cuts take effect Jan. 1.

Candidates: 1,400

ABC News,

November 30, 2010


So here we are two years later, and I am still getting calls from those previous "lucky ones", who are now NOT the lucky ones. The calls are ones of needing to brush up or even build a new resume.

My phone is also ringing from another group as well, the ones that made it through this round of calls and are still part of the "lucky ones", wondering if the downsizings are over. They are hoping the music has stopped and they found themselves with the last few chairs remaining in the game and won! I tell them that, "at this party, the music stops, you find a chair and then,..... the music starts all over again next year"! You see, this is basically a party you don't want to be part of; it is the endless party that even your heartiest, hard core partiers will eventually lose. You see, the party ends when everyone leaves. Until that time, make sure you listen to the music and keep your eye on your chair until......the music stops again.

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Comment by Linda Hertz on February 12, 2011 at 2:11pm

and the ANSWER is still NO..we are not done!  I thought I would type an update to many of you know Abbott laid of 1900 people two weeks ago...combo of Sales People and assorted others...some with over 16 years of award winning performance.  Also two weeks ago Convatec (now owned by a Private Equity Group...alarm, alarm...that is your first sign of no job security...when your firm is purchased by a Private Equity Group!)...they laid of 35 to 40 people..mostly sales I hear.  It was also reported to me another company laid off another 300 people at Quintiles...numerous others did report to me last week that a number of Specialty pharma was laid off too!! 


Couple this with the 9% unemployment report issued last week and only 36,000 new jobs added..yes, 36,000 nationwide and something is up!!  Yep, everyone happy because the Unemployment was reduced from approx. 9.4% or so to 9%!  So what gives?  This gives; consider the following:

I heard that someone pulled a paycheck for ONE DAY, yes ONE DAY...and they were not counted as unemployed in the 9% stats.   If you ran out of unemployment insurance..nope you can't you are considered NOT unemployed now and not part of the 9%!  Wow..that is weird aren't counted anymore.  Doesn't that make you feel great? 


We all know that if you are working a 1099 job because you could not get a "regular" full benefits are employed, if you are working at a part time are considered fully employed.


What does that all mean?  "hog wash" as my Irish Grandmother would say!  9% is more liked 18% unemployment is what I am guessing...and that is not adding all those that are employed who found new jobs making up to 40% less than their old jobs...simply HOG WASH!




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