Updated Feb. 5, 2013, at 2:45 p.m. with comments from Boston Scientific.
In an updated Mass Layoff Report, Minnesota labor regulators noted that Boston Scientific on August 24, 2012, reported cuts affecting 500 workers. The company has Minnesota offices in Maple Grove, Plymouth and St. Paul, according to its website.
Among the top 5 medical device makers on MassDevice.com’s list of Big 100 firms, Boston Scientific was alone in reducing its total workforce from 2011 to 2012, cutting it staff by 7.7%. The company pared its workforce further throughout last year and Boston Scientific currently employs about 24,000 globally – which is about 1,000 fewer workers than the company had around this time last year, spokesman Steve Campanini told us.
Boston Scientific has undergone several rounds of cuts in recent years. The company announced in July 2011 that it was looking to cut up to 1,400 jobs in a restructuring program aimed at saving $225-$275 million annually by 2013. The August cuts were partially related to the 2011 restructuring effort, but Campanini was unable to provide granular details on how many or what departments were affected.
At the time Boston Scientific was "moving lines around," shifting some jobs from its Galway, Ireland, facilities to offices in Minnesota and vice versa as part of efforts to "improve efficiency and reduce costs," Campanini said.
Prior to the cuts reported to Minnesota authorities, Boston Scientific also cut 50 positions from a facility in Galway, a move the company said was tied to the 2011 restructuring plan. In August 2012 anonymous reports leaked news of layoffs in the U.S., although details were not made public then and it’s not clear whether those layoffs are related to the ones in the Minnesota jobs report.
The medical device giant is targeting cost-savings in certain markets and business lines but investing in "other growing areas," Campanini said. Much of the shuffling in its various business lines is in attempts to forge a "globally managed operation as opposed to products that have a global reach," he added.
Last week Boston Scientific announced that it would lay off up to 1,000 additional workers worldwide in connection with the 2011 restructuring initiative, bringing the total to around 2,400 planned cuts in efforts to cut an additional $100 million to $115 million annually by the end of the year.
BSX shares were up 2.6% to $7.64 as of about 12:35 p.m. today.