Lilly reveals plans to cut 340 IT jobs

July 15, 2010

Eli Lilly and Co. told employees Thursday that it’s cutting 340 information technology positions in Indiana.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker eliminated 140 IT jobs in June through retirements, resignations and some cuts. Another 115 cuts will be made this month, and the remainder by the end of the year, according to an e-mail from Janice Chavers, a Lilly spokeswoman.

All displaced workers will get a few months to find another job within Lilly, although those opportunities are few. Workers who leave Lilly will receive severance based on their pay grade and time served with the company.

Lilly employs about 1,250 IT workers in the United States.

“We have been reorganizing our business the last few months to reduce the time it takes to get medicine to patients, to align our business with a clear line of sight to patients and to reduce costs,” Chavers wrote in an e-mail. “Today's announcement in IT is part of that.”

Lilly has announced more than 2,000 job cuts toward its goal of 5,500 cuts, which the company set in September. Earlier this week, it said it plans to eliminate 170 manufacturing positions. The company is also trying to trim $1 billion in annual expenses by the end of 2011.

Lilly’s bestselling drug, the antipsychotic Zyprexa, will face competition from cheap generic copies when its U.S. and European patents expire in October 2011. In the following three years, Lilly will watch patents expire on four other bestselling drugs, threatening to steal nearly 60 percent of its $22 billion in annual revenue.

By that time, it hopes to have a worldwide staff of about 35,000. It currently employs 12,400 in Indiana.

Job cuts so far have come in nearly every area of the company, including sales, marketing, communications, information technology and manufacturing.


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