Amgen to lay off up to 2,900 workers and close plants in two states

Amgen said it would lay off as much as 15% of its workers.
Amgen said it would lay off as much as 15% of its workers.
(Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

Biotech giant Amgen Inc. said it would lay off up to 2,900 employees and close facilities in Washington state and Colorado, as the Thousand Oaks company moved to reign in expenses and focus on new drugs.

Those cuts could amount to nearly 15% of its 20,000 worldwide employees. Amgen said it would use the savings -- as much as $700 million a year -- to support global launches of new products.

Word of the cuts came as the company announced strong second-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates.


The company’s stock closed Tuesday up 66 cents, or 0.5%, to $123.31. It announced the cuts after markets closed.

The company intends to retain its headquarters in Thousand Oaks, “albeit with a reduced staff,” Amgen chief Robert A. Bradway said in a conference call with analysts.

Amgen, which markets blockbuster drugs for osteoporosis and anemia, said the cuts are part of a restructuring that will help it focus on launching new drugs.

Bradway did not say how many of the job cuts would be at its sprawling Thousand Oaks campus. He said the company intends to focus on “reducing layers of management” as part of the cuts.

Amgen announced the cuts on the same day that it said it posted a 23% increase in second-quarter profit. Revenue was up 11%, the company said.

The company said net income for the quarter was $1.55 billion, or $2.01 a share, up from $1.26 billion, or $1.65, a year earlier.