Roche/Genentech Exodus No Longer Voluntary

Last Updated Jul 13, 2009 12:47 AM EDT

Top executives from Genentech have been trickling away since Roche completed its acquisition of the biotech bellwether a few months ago, but reports indicate the departures are taking a less voluntary turn as the consolidation spreads from the ivory tower to the rank-and-file.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the latest reductions on Friday, which apparently focused on folks in late stage drug development and corporate administration and affected less than one percent of Genentech's 8,250 Bay Area employees:

"Roche has always communicated that it expected some redundancies in certain areas of the business," Genentech spokeswoman Caroline Pecquet said.

She could not say how many employees would ultimately be affected or how long it will take to complete the cuts.

And over on CafePharma, someone in Genentech marketing reported a "forced resignation" on Friday. According to another anonymous poster on Friday:
Someone in my team was just let go being lazy and incompetenct [sic] and staying under the radar screen does not work anymore. The swiss are smarter than those californian types
Meanwhile IguanaBio reported Friday that Roche is axing its own folks in Nutley as well. According to their tip-off:
Heard from a friend-of-a-friend that last week Roche had the Nutley PD on campus for a round of layoffs (all part of the Genentech post-merger re-org). Said about one hundred people got a box, 10 minutes and an escort to their car.
And the top brass continue to leave. Former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson became chairman of Genentech's new board of directors in April; former product development head Susan Desmond-Hellmann was named chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco in May; and former CFO David Ebersman agreed a few weeks ago to become CFO at Facebook (H/T to FierceBiotech).

Rumor has it finance will be next -- CafePharma posters said Genentech's finance team is taking a trip to Nutley next week...

Layoffs photo by Fickr user snofla, CC2.0

  • Trista Morrison

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