GSK to shut Harlow facility, formerly UK HQ of Smith Kline Beecham

Rumour: We are getting reports that GSK, following their announcement reported in the FT on 31st January of a likely 3,000 job cuts globally, are to close their Harlow branch, formerly the Smith Kline Beecham flagship facility, with the likely loss of 2,000 jobs. Workers at the facility were told they would be made redundant on Thursday.

A reminder, if one were needed that, the employees of the junior partner in any ‘merger’ rarely enjoy long term job security. GSK was formed out of the takeover/merger of GlaxoWellcome plc and SmithKline Beecham plc in 2000. Like most pharmaceutical companies, it is reducing its headcount in western markets and focusing on growth in emerging markets.

GSK - GlaxoSmithKline

GSK - GlaxoSmithKline

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13 responses to “GSK to shut Harlow facility, formerly UK HQ of Smith Kline Beecham”

  1. Shellshocked says:

    We have been half expecting it for a while but doesnt make it any less of a shock when it happens. Apparently most of us will be going though there will be a management office left behind. No idea what to do now. Harlow doesnt have that many job options for scientists.

  2. XscientistX says:

    Another consequence of the shocking arrogance and bungling mismanagement of the current R&D leadership.

  3. Susan Sarni says:

    Disgraceful. The town of Harlow will be severely impacted by the loss of the 1500 workers. The workers were told 4 February that there jobs are no longer. I am sure the workforce can all be comforted by the fact that their jobs will be given to China and that GSK will increase its profits.

  4. Job Hunter says:

    Less UK taxes, more foreign jobs.

  5. GSKverona says:

    In Verona site 550 scientists are being fired.

    The company told us that Neurosciences are no more attractive: too expensice and poor earnings. But every manager coming to visit us during the last years repeated: patients are waiting and focus on the patient.

    It seems that patiens are no more important. FOCUS ON SHAREHOLDERS

  6. redundant says:

    How has the closure of Harlow avoided the press? Its a disgrace, gone through reapplying for job to be told would have job security for a 3 year business cycle and now this.

  7. @GSK says:

    The closure of Harlow has avoided the press partly due to Witty’s interestingly spun interpretation of last week’s events (see A couple of days after telling employees at Harlow, Tonbridge, Verona that the sites are to close he says, “we’ve not announced job cuts. Overall for the UK over the next five to 10 years I think it’s highly probably that the UK will be a net gainer of jobs for GSK.”

  8. GSKverona says:

    Did he really say that sentence??????? WOW! How could he possibly sleep at night??? for God’s sake….give him some medications for schizophrenia… ops… too bad… neurosciences drugs are no more studied in Verona….sorry Andy!

  9. Ima tWitty says:

    “These arent job cuts! These are strategic realignments of our core principles and values.”

    Andrew Witty assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer on 21 May 2008. He is a member of the Board and Corporate Executive Team and previously held the role of President, Pharmaceuticals Europe.

    Andrew joined Glaxo in 1985 and held a variety of roles in the UK business. He was a Sales Representative for the Respiratory business, held a variety of Marketing roles and was Director of Pharmacy and Distribution.

    He has worked in the Company’s International New Products groups, both in the Respiratory and HIV/Infectious disease fields and has been involved in multiple new product development programmes.

    In 1993, Andrew was appointed Managing Director of Glaxo South Africa and later Area Director for GlaxoWellcome, South and East Africa. Subsequently he moved to North Carolina as Vice President and General Manager, Marketing for GlaxoWellcome Inc., the group’s US subsidiary.

    Andrew then moved to Singapore and led the Group’s operations in Asia as Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific prior to his appointment to the Corporate Executive Team as President of GSK Europe in 2003.

    Andrew has served in numerous advisory roles to Governments around the world including South Africa, Singapore, Guangzhou China and the UK. Andrew is President of the EFPIA, a position he took up on 1 January 2010.

    Andrew has a Joint Honours BA in Economics from the University of Nottingham.

    Interested in joining Andrew? Check out our careers section: Don’t bother if you are based in Europe.

  10. Ima tWitty says:

    Can anyone remind me how many people I have kindly enabled to find new careers in Harlow and Verona?

    I have forgotten and we also forgot to tell the press.

  11. Dr. Doner says:

    Its not just GSK, its the whole country thats been going into shambles. Can’t imagine future for this country at all, Once a wealthy country, whats it got now because of very poor leadership. Leave the Climate change & MP expenses, how is a common man going to live, everyday there are thousands job loses (GSK, Cadburys, car manufactures etc), but the govt is not bothered tax increases everyyear for the working class, taxes on council, energy, fuel, water, tv all go up….how is the common man going to afford this. IF THE GOVT doens’t do anything to bring back jobs, bring back manufacturing into this country stop outsourcing & importing and not being just a consuming country..within a few years there would only be a few supermarkets serving food imported from other countries and common man having no money to afford anything… this country would be worse than any third world