Bristol-Myers to Cut 3% of Workforce to Reduce Costs

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., the New York-based drugmaker, said it will cut 3 percent of its global workforce, about 840 jobs, during the next six months.

“The ultimate goal of the effort is not only to reduce cost, but also to create an organization that is more agile,” Tracy Furey, a Bristol-Myers spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail. Before the cuts, Bristol has 28,000 workers, she said.

The company previously announced plans to slash more than $2.5 billion in expenses by 2012, and eliminated 7,000 jobs last year. Bristol-Myers is narrowing its focus on biotechnology and making acquisitions to replace medicines facing generic competition during the next two years.

“These companies get smaller and realize they can still cut more jobs to become even more efficient,” Linda Bannister, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in Des Peres, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. “With the patent cliff all these companies are facing, they need to reduce costs as quickly as possible to navigate what is going to be a very challenging couple of years for the industry.”

The company fell 14 cents, to $27.68, at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has advanced 24 percent in 12 months.

Furey declined to specify the positions to be eliminated or to comment on the effect of the job cuts on the company’s financial results.

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