Am I Next? Layoffs at Gilead Sciences.

Foster City, California-based biotechnology firm Gilead Sciences has announced that they are planning to reduce their sales force by 20%, approximately 150 long-time salespeople in their cardiopulmonary division. The decision was driven by two of the company’s profitable drugs, Ranexa and Letairis, which lost patent protection.

According to a company spokesperson, “With the anticipated entry of generic versions of Letairis and Ranexa, Gilead made the decision to lay off about 150 cardiopulmonary sales representatives. This decision was put into motion almost two years ago, as the organization began to plan for the entry of generics. Gilead has worked with the impacted employees to provide ample notice and to help them plan for their transitions. The efforts and dedication of our cardiopulmonary employees have been deeply appreciated.”

It appears that Gilead’s new CEO, Roche Pharmaceuticals veteran, Daniel O’Day, appears to be unfairly targeted for a decision that was made two years ago. There is little doubt that the company faces financial and legal challenges in the near future which begs the question, is this employee reduction sufficient to mitigate investor dissatisfaction and becoming a target for activist investors?

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?