Sanofi Plans Layoffs on Nov. 30; Management Says "Happy Thanksgiving!"

Last Updated Nov 25, 2009 12:29 PM EST

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) has asked its drug sales reps to stay at home on Monday, Nov. 30, and await a phonecall that will tell them whether they have been laid off, a source tells BNET. Similar news already broke on Cafe Pharma.

It is not clear how many reps will be axed. The company axed about 10 percent of its 6,500-strong force last year. In many ways, a round of layoffs at Sanofi at Thanksgiving is becoming an annual rite. The company did the exact same thing last year.

Reps are annoyed that they received two messages from management this week: One telling them they might be about to get fired, and the other telling them to enjoy the long holiday weekend.

BNET's source says the company currently employs about 5,600 reps. Those laid off will get three weeks' base pay per year of service, up to a maximum of 78 weeks' base pay. There's a bonus for those over 50 years old. Any rep guilty of "misconduct" -- such as violence or drinking -- will not be entitled to severance.

BNET noted previously that Sanofi planned $2.8 billion in job cuts since at least the summer; and that the company had already sung the ax in foreign territories. Sanofi has also suffered because Multaq, its big heart drug, did not turn out to be the blockbuster the company hoped for.

Lastly: Did CEO Chris Viehbacher signal in his Q3 earnings slideshow that layoffs were on the way once more? Page 22 of the presentation notes among the company's plans:

"Realignment of sales & marketing resources put in place."
"Realignment" is Sanofi's euphemism for job cuts.
  • Note to Sanofi employees: Use the email link below this post to anonymously report news to BNET about what's going on. (An MP3 of the Thanksgiving voicemail would be marvelous!)
Image by Flickr user Chris Campbell, CC.