Eli Lilly Eliminates 340 IT Jobs

Eli Lily is on a cost-reduction mission in 2010 which calls for the elimination of 5,500 jobs in 2010. IT is the latest group to be offered severance packages.

As part of a large downsizing effort of its labor force in 2010, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly is cutting 340 information technology jobs, according to an internal announcement obtained by The Indianapolis Star.

Eli Lilly--which manufactures and markets drugs that fight cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia and erectile dysfunction, among others--announced last year it was planning to cut costs of $1 billion in 2010, and the elimination of 5,500 workers is part of that cost reduction effort.

Eli Lilly has already seen about 140 layoffs, retirements and resignations in IT in 2010, according to the The Indianapolis Star. John Russell, a reporter for IndyStar.com, wrote the following on the latest round of layoffs:

"But it means 200 more information technology workers will lose their jobs this year. The company said 115 of those cuts will take place this month. Workers who are affected--or -reallocated,' in Lilly parlance--are given several months to look for another position within the company. But openings for reallocated workers typically are extremely limited. Lilly currently has about 1,250 employees in its IT organization nationally." Eli Lilly reported $5.486 billion revenue growth in the first quarter of 2010--a 9 percent increase from the first quarter of 2009. The company expects to see large costs associated with health care reform legislation that passed Congress and signed by the president earlier this year.

"Lilly delivered strong operational performance in the first quarter, even as we experienced continued weakness in the U.S. dollar versus prior periods and began to account for the impact from recently enacted U.S. health care reform," said CEO John C. Lechleiter in an April 19 quarterly earnings statement "Our volume-driven revenue growth remains solid and we are making the investments necessary to accelerate the flow of potential new medicines through our pipeline."

Eli Lilly announced on July 2 that it entered a definitive merger agreement to acquire Cambridge, Mass., biotechnology firm Alnara Pharmaceuticals, which has been developing a drug to help combat pancreatic deficiencies and those affected by cystic fibrosis.

Layoffs at Eli Lilly have not been isolated to IT; scientists, marketers, public relations representatives, sales professionals and others have all been let go from the company this year. Eli Lilly has roughly 40,000 employees globally and claims to be the 10th largest pharmaceutical company in the world.