Astra-Zeneca Lay-offs

Friday got busy and I didn’t find the time to blog about the announced lay-offs (and site closings) at Astra-Zeneca – over 7,000 announced and further plans for their main US site at Waltham, MA. As usual, both Derek (who gave a second post about Waltham) and ChemJobber made excellent points about the situation.

It is an ugly situation not helped by the company’s handling of it. Once again, a productive group is broken up in Montreal. And the main site at Waltham is befuddling, driving morale down even lower and (even better) encouraging the employees to jump ship if they can. And who are most able to jump ship? Your best employees, the ones that if you were going to slim down and become more efficient, that you’d really like to keep. Nice going, AZ.

The twist in the knife in the back is the stock buy-back plan. Cutting resources to spend that on shoring up the stock price is remarkably short-sighted, even for the bureaucrats and financial geniuses that dwell at the top of most of our scientific endeavors these days.

Best advice to those waiting under the axe (and indeed to many of the rest of us) is work on your papers, building a network, a fleshed out LinkedIn profile. Learn a new skill. Doing something to improve yourself is better than waiting anxiously out in the cold.

Good luck to all.

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