Drugs giant AstraZeneca is to slash about 1,600 jobs over the next three years, including 700 in the UK, as part of an overhaul of its research operations.
The shake-up will see the end of research and development at its Alderley Park site in Cheshire, with much of the work being transferred to a new $500 million (£330m) facility in Cambridge. The group will also close an office in London, where it employs about 350 people, and cut some 650 roles in the US.
Chief executive Pascal Soriot said the upheaval will lead to about $1.4 billion in one-off restructuring costs, but should deliver annual savings of about $190m by 2016.
He added: “I recognise that our plans will have a significant impact on many of our people and our stakeholders at the affected sites. We are fully committed to treating all our employees with respect and fairness as we navigate this important period of change.”
AstraZeneca, which saw its profits fall 35 per cent to $7.7bn last year, employs 6,700 workers across eight sites in the UK, and unions said its plans would lead to the loss of high-quality jobs in the north west of England.
Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said: “AstraZeneca’s decision to relocate over 1,000 jobs to Cambridge is a massive blow for the north-west. The company is creating a skills crisis for the local economy.”
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