Biogen Workers Seek Career Options

Anticipating potential layoffs if the company is sold, Biogen staff are reportedly looking for offers in all the right places.

According to the Boston Business Journal, biotechnology recruiters have noticed an increase in calls from non-executive staff planning for the worst.

Pearl Freier, an executive search consultant, told the Journal that the callers are “anxious” and hoping to avoid becoming one of the thousands who Biogen may fire.

About 1,400 of the company’s 3,900-strong workforce are located at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based headquarters.

The biotechnology company announced in October that it would seek a potential acquisition after a major shareholder pushed for a sale. Pharma giants Pfizer and Novartis are both considered potential bidders, with a sale valued at $23 billion.

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Biogen, however, is still hiring across many departments. In fact, the company has plans to attend the “Genetown Career Fair” in Boston on November 7. That event features companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Kelly Scientific Resources, Novartis, and Siemens, among many others.

Many of Biogen’s workers who are fearing the worst might be safe after all, even if their company is sold. Just last week, for example, Amgen laid off 300 employees in Rhode Island — 150 fewer employees than expected. Amgen previously had 1,600 workers at two factories that manufacture arthritis drugs; only one plant will remain in the Ocean State by the end of the year.

Still, the Thousand Oaks, California-based company has plans to eliminate close to 2,600 jobs worldwide — including 1,500 through layoffs and others through attrition and voluntary departures — to save about $1.9 billion.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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