Merck Serono, as part of a planned restructuring program, will close its facilities headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and consolidate all functions in one Merck Serono Campus in Darmstadt, Germany. Of the 1,250 positions in Geneva, more than 750 positions will be transferred and 500 positions will be eliminated. Key R&D positions will be transferred from Geneva to Darmstadt, Boston (USA) and Beijing (China) in an effort to leverage scientific expertise in the biotech hub of Boston and to ensure clinical development in all key growth markets.
The company will maintain a manufacturing presence in Switzerland at its production sites in Aubonne and Corsier-sur-Vevey but plans to cut approximately 80 positions across the three production sites in Aubonne, Corsier-sur-Vevey and Coinsins. Existing manufacturing operations in Coinsins will be relocated primarily to Aubonne. Of the 750 positions to be transferred, 130 positions related to technical manufacturing operations from Geneva will be relocated to the Aubonne area. Also, Merck intends to maintain its Swiss market operations in Zug.
“The planned measures for Merck Serono’s operations in Switzerland are needed to ensure our global competitive position in a rapidly changing market and to secure the long-term future of the company,” said Stefan Oschmann, executive board member of Merck and responsible for the Merck Serono division. “Regrettably, these planned measures include the closure of our headquarters in Geneva, which would result in workforce reductions and the redeployment of certain Switzerland-based functions to other Merck locations. We are committed to working closely with key stakeholders, especially affected employees, to find socially responsible solutions, including exploring potential entrepreneur partnership programs and redeployment proposals.”
Relocations and workforce reductions will begin in 2H12 and will be fully implemented in 1H13.