CORRECTED: More Layoffs Coming at Roche (NOT Genentech)

Last Updated Jul 27, 2009 11:40 PM EDT

According to documents filed with California's Economic Development Department, it looks like the layoffs are far from over at Roche's Palo Alto site, home of the biotech formerly known as Genentech.


An earlier version of this post mistakenly said the Palo Alto site was home of the biotech formerly known as Genentech. Please excuse this San Diego hillbilly her lack of Bay Area geographic knowledge. As Roche kindly pointed out, the Genentech site is in South San Francisco.

Earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported reductions in late stage drug development and corporate administration at the Genentech site. A Genentech spokeswoman told the Chronicle she could not say how many employees would ultimately be affected or how long it will take to complete the cuts.

In California, companies with more than 100 employees have to file Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) paperwork at least 60 days in advance of a plant closing or mass layoff.

The July through December 2009 WARN filings already include the following from Roche for the Palo Alto site:

Layoff Date / Employees Affected:
07-01-09 / 72
08-01-09 / 64
09-01-09 / 42
10-01-09 / 62
11-01-09 / 15
12-01-09 / 47
Roche said the Palo Alto site is slated for closure in 2010. Roche's Palo Alto presence came through its 1994 acquisition of Syntex.

According to Genentech spokesperson Caroline Pecquet:
The number of affected employees at Genentech in the Bay Area is less than 1 perent of our employee headcount. This percentage is reflected in Genentech's WARN notification which reports that approximately 100 positions were eliminated in July. We do not have any expectation that the percentage of affected employees will increase from 1 percent.
My deepest apologies for the earlier confusion.

Roche is just one of many biotech firms tightening the belt these days. Other California companies with WARN filings on record include:
07-06-09 / Affymetrix / 38
07-14-09 / Nanogen / 89
07-30-09 / Life Technologies (Foster City site) / 40
10-30-09 / Elan (South San Francisco site) / 19
Restructuring photo by Flickr user joelogon, CC2.0
  • Trista Morrison

    Trista Morrison is a staff writer at BioWorld Today, a daily newspaper that

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