Other Shoe Drops: Roche To Lay Off Up to 840 at Genentech

Parent company Roche announced this week that it is eliminating up to 840 positions at Genentech, the South San Francisco company it fully owns (after previously being a majority owner). Genentech completed its acquisition of Genentech in March 2009.

Executives associated with Roche had communicated at the time of the acquisition that Genentech would maintain its entrepreneurial spirit and independence.

The move by Roche was part of a broader initiative dubbed “Operational Excellence.” The implementation as announced November 17th involves the elimination of 4,800 positions worldwide throughout the Roche organization. The cuts at Genentech amounts to just south of 20% of Roche’s worldwide cuts, and follow smaller size work force reductions which have been ongoing over the last year at Genentech. Roche spokesperson Robin Snyder told the San Francisco Business Times on that none of those jobs will be in research and early development.

Independence, apparently, has a different meaning in Switzerland than in the United States.

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