Number of Layoffs: 5,000
Layoffs As % of Workforce: 10%
Possibly the most controversial group of layoffs came courtesy of Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA), an Israeli drug manufacturer.
In mid-October, Teva announced plans to lay off 5,000 workers in 2014 — around 10% of its workforce — as part of the company’s goal to save about $2 billion per year by 2017.
The announcement created an uproar, since CEO Jeremy Levin did not consult the board before announced the controversial cost-cutting plans. The Israeli government and labor unions were also opposed to the plan. And in the end, it cost Levin his job.
Other names in the pharma sector have been making similar moves, too. Merck (MRK) recently said it would cut 8,500 jobs across its research and development operations as part of a move to trim costs by $2.5 billion by 2015. And medical devices company Boston Scientific also announced it is cutting 6% of its workforce.