Am I Next? Novartis lays off 140 employees and shuts down some research in Emeryville, California

Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis International, a multinational pharmaceutical company, has decided to end some of its research projects in Emeryville, California leading to the layoffs of approximately 140 employees engaged in early-stage anti-bacterial and anti-viral research.  

The decision to curtail costs and restructure operations in this more challenging pharmaceutical environment is to be expected. A Novartis spokesperson noted, “While the science for these programs is compelling, we have decided to prioritize our resources in other areas where we believe we are better positioned to develop innovative medicine that will have a positive impact for patients. The need for these types of medicines is clear and to maximize the changes that these programs will one day help patients, we are actively engaged in out-licensing discussions with companies focused on developing medicines in these areas.” 

One can understand the company’s reluctance to invest in expensive anti-bacterial pharmaceuticals that may be rendered ineffective by the so-called drug-resistant superbugs that seem to be emerging with some regularity. Other major players in the anti-bacterial space like AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly have also curtailed their research and development programs in the past few years. 

Are you wondering, Am I Next?



 Am I Next? Sea Ray Boats abandons ship - 825 employees laid off.

Knoxville, Tennessee-based Sea Ray has announced that it is closing two of its facilities. The Sykes Creek facility on Merritt Island, Florida, originally opened in 1972, will be closed permanently resulting in the layoff of 380 Sea Ray employees. Another 440 employees will be laid off at Sea Ray’s Palm Coast facility IN Flagler, Florida.

A portion of the Sykes Creek facility will remain open until contracted orders are fulfilled and to support warranty and other customer service operations.
Sea Ray, the manufacturer of luxury boats was acquired by Mettawa, Illinois-based Brunswick in `1986 for $350 million and has been restructured over the years. Brunswick claims that while production will be halted and facilities closes, the company will retain, refocus, revitalize, and reinvent the brand to include sport boats and cruisers. 

A Brunswick spokesperson indicated that the company tried to sell the Sea Ray business, but could not find a buyer willing to pay a premium for the iconic brand and that the general miasma and weak sales in the luxury boat category led to lower, and unacceptable, valuations.  Brunswick does not plan to leave the marine sector and will continue to offer Mercury and Mariner outboard engines, and Bayliner, Boston Whaler and Meridian boats. 

Are you wondering, Am I Next?