Merck Shifts Global Headquarters

Merck Shifts Global Headquarters

October 9th, 2012 // 3:38 pm @


In the latest big shift at Merck, the drugmaker is moving its global headquarters from one location in New Jersey to another. After being located in Whitehouse Station for 20 years in a complex that some derisively likened to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Merck is moving its key offices about 26 miles east to Summit, New Jersey, where it inherited facilities after acquiring Schering-Plough three years ago.

The move, of course, is part of an ongoing cost-cutting program that also involves eliminating thousands of jobs and various facilities, including eight research sites and eight manufacturing plants. Last year, the drugmaker announced plans to shed 12,000 to 13,000 jobs by the end of 2015, which amounts to 12 percent to 13 percent of the 100,000 headcount as of the end of 2009.

“The relocation of our headquarters will help us achieve our future vision, reduce the size of our operating footprint, and increase agility as we adapt to our changing business environment,” Merck ceo Ken Frazier says in a statement. About 2,000 employees and contractors currently at Whitehouse Station will move to Summit or to other nearby facilities in New Jersey, such as Branchburg and Cokesbury.

The shift to Whitehouse Station two decades ago coincided with a greater emphasis placed on its research and manufacturing site in West Point, Pennsyvlania, which is located about 47 miles away. Before moving to Whitehouse Station, Merck had been headquartered in Rahway, New Jersey, a densely packed suburb closer to New York, where research and manufacturing has taken place for decades. Over the past several years, both locations have suffered a variety of cutbacks.

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