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Roche to cut 200 local jobs

October 17, 2008
Roche Diagnostics Corp. will cut 200 positions from its Indianapolis work force in what a spokeswoman called "a normal course of assessing the business."

Switzerland-based Roche, which makes medical devices such as glucose meters, employs roughly 2,600 people here as part of its North American headquarters and research-and-manufacturing operations.

All of the cuts will come from Roche's corporate staff, which totals about 1,000 in Indianapolis, said Wendy Baker-Stein, Roche's vice president of communications.

Roche is eliminating marketing, customer support and contracting positions, but is trying to transition some of those workers into open sales positions. Baker-Stein said she did not know how many sales positions Roche has open.

Baker-Stein said Roche wanted to have more of its corporate employees in "revenue-producing positions" in an effort to work "more efficiently and effectively."

"It really wasn't anything that particularly triggered it. We just looked at future growth," Baker-Stein said. She said the economy wasn't the major factor in the decision, but said, "We need to remain profitable as an affiliate of a global company."

Roche informed its staff of the cuts on Wednesday and Thursday. The employees will remain on the payroll until Dec. 31.

Each employee will receive at least 12 weeks severance and an additional two weeks for every year of service at Roche. The company also will provide three months of job search help.

In May, Roche announced it would transfer 300 operations positions from Indianapolis to Germany. That separate process is set to take place over three years.
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