Sanofi Calls Hundreds of Reps With Layoff News

Last Updated Nov 30, 2009 11:15 AM EST

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) began calling hundreds of its drug sales reps today to tell them whether they were being laid off or keeping their jobs. A company spokesperson declined to comment gave this statement when asked by BNET how many reps were affected.
Sanofi-aventis U.S. is continuing to evolve in order to deliver greater value to our customers in a rapidly changing business climate. This includes changes to our sales force to better correspond with market dynamics and customer needs. As a part of our continuing transformation, we have identified areas where we will prioritize sales support and others where reductions are necessary.
Regarding your specific question on numbers, all I can tell you at this time is that this is an ongoing process.
The Sanofi message board on Cafe Pharma has been on fire all morning, with more than 300 users reading and commenting on a stream of threads about the layoffs. Those threads indicate that district managers were given lists of who they had to cut yesterday, but were under instructions not to start making their calls until this morning.

Note to HR and PR managers: If you want your workforce to publish derogatory material about your company on the internet, then ask them all to stay at home on a day when you've got bad news to announce. BNET broke the news on Wednesday that the layoffs were to take place today. That led to a stressful Thanksgiving for many. As one rep wrote on Cafe Pharma:

... since Wednesday we have all tried to guess based on past performance, rankings etc... but I don't think that is necessarily the benchmarks they are using. what an exhausting "holiday" - constant migraines, crappy sleep etc.. am just toast at this point mentally and physically.
Other unconfirmed snippets on the boards include:
... every division in company heavily affected except for the following: ST [specialty therapeutics], Inst [institutional?], Multaq [a new heart drug] and sculptra [a dermal filler] teams

Territories will be larger. Some reps will have new products. DM's will be contacting their new reps Monday morning. Those being displaced will get the call from their RSD, so you'll know your status if his/her # shows up.

If you get a three way call with your manager and the RSD it is not good news. Just a call from your manager your fine.

Image by Flickr user Chris Campbell, CC.