The workforce reduction trend has swept the economy recently, and unfortunately, the medtech space is not immune to layoffs.
You’ve probably read about the ongoing layoffs sweeping the tech industry, media and more.
For instance, Yahoo, Disney, Zoom and more all reported workforce reductions as companies across industries grapple with economic pressures. Think inflation, supply chain challenges and more.
Medtech has shown some resilience in the present environment. Some major medical device companies released positive earnings. However, others announced headcount reductions, citing macroeconomic headwinds. Others felt the weight of regulatory issues, restructuring efforts and supply chain problems. Changes in how China buys products for its national health system have had a negative impact, too.
In fact, MassDevice has reported on more than 21,000 medtech job cuts across the industry since mid-2022. (Have a tip about layoffs at your company or within the industry? Let us know.)
Here is our roundup — based on MassDevice reporting — of companies across medtech that enacted layoffs since mid-2022:
|Size of layoff
|3M Health Care
|6% reduction (around 60 employees)
|65% reduction (around 146 employees)
|30% reduction (46 employees)
|200 employees (roughly 4%)
|Less than 5% of workforce (up to 3,000 employees)
|35% of workforce (as many as 15 employees)
|10% of workforce (roughly 46 employees)
|4% of global workforce (500 workers)
|30% of workforce (329 employees)
|8%-10% of workforce (roughly 1,500 employees)
|28% of workforce (approximately 23 employees)
|approximately 81 employees
|5% of global workforce (roughly 455 employees — at least)
|Johnson & Johnson MedTech
|at least 1,000 employees
|10,000 employees (13% of its global workforce)
|16% of workforce (roughly 37 employees)
|Siemens Healthineers Diagnostics
|At least 300 employees
|13% of workforce (around 60 employees)
|70 employees (18% of workforce)
|15% of workforce (presumably more than 200 employees)
|Roughly 100 employees
|3% of workforce (roughly 540 employees)
And here is more information about the layoffs:
3M announced in April 2023 that it planned to reduce its headcount by 6,000 employees. That followed a previous announcement of 2,500 layoffs in January 2023. However, it remains unclear how many of the job cuts come from the 3M’s Health Care business, which remains on track for a spin-off.
The cost-reduction plans include reducing the size of the company’s corporate center, simplifying the supply chain, streamlining the company’s geographic footprint and reducing management layers. About 1,100 workers at 3M’s headquarters site outside St. Paul are included in the layoff.
Accuray in October 2023 announced plans to lay off approximately 5.9% of its global workforce as part of a cost-savings initiative.
The Madison, Wisconsin–based radiation oncology developer reported in September 2023 that in accordance with its margin expansion plan, it would commit to a cost-savings initiative designed to reduce operating costs through the reduction of its global workforce.
As part of a restructuring effort, Acutus decided to eliminate 65% of its workforce in November 2023. Given that its most recent annual report listed 225 employees, the layoffs could affect around 146 employees.
The move looks to wind down the company’s electrophysiology mapping and ablation business as it focuses on manufacturing left heart access products for Medtronic.
The maker of digital therapeutics announced last year that its board of directors approved an operating plan for 2023 that includes a 30% workforce reduction.
In total, 30% of Akili’s workforce amounts to 46 employees spread across different areas and functions. The company communicated the decision to employees on Jan. 12. Akili said it expects to complete the reduction by the end of the first quarter. CEO Eddie Martucci called the decision “necessary but difficult” in a letter to employees.
Boston-based Akili develops a video game-based therapeutic for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In a cost-cutting effort initiated in August 2022, Ambu made plans to cut 200 employees from its global workforce. The Denmark-based company experienced difficulties in progressing its single-use endoscope technologies.
Given the company’s headcount of approximately 4,500 at the time, the 200 employees represent about 4% of its workforce.
Later that month, the company confirmed that it completed about 70% of its layoffs.
In its Q4 2022 earnings report, Baxter announced layoffs as a result of its ongoing restructuring plan.
In January 2023, Baxter announced its plans to spin off its renal care and acute therapies units. The company expects its new process to complete by early in the second quarter.
In response to “significant macroeconomic challenges,” Baxter began to implement a cost reduction program. The program runs parallel with its operating model reshuffle, and it expects to complete it later this quarter. Baxter anticipates savings of more than $300 million, but it includes a “global workforce reduction of less than 5%.”
Baxter listed 60,000 employees in its 2022 annual report, which means the layoff could affect up to 3,000 workers. José (Joe) E. Almeida, Baxter chair, president and CEO, said the “journey” ahead “will involve” difficult decisions.
In March 2023, Better Therapeutics commenced a workforce reduction of approximately 35% of its employees.
Per the digital therapeutic developer’s most recent annual report, it had 44 employees as of Dec. 31, 2021. That could amount to at least as many as 15 employees.
In an SEC filing, Better Therapeutics said the headcount cut comes as part of a cost reduction initiative. It aims to improve its cash runway and “focus on the long-term success of the company.” According to the filing, the company planned to complete the reduction on March 24 with about $400,000 in cash-based expenses related to severance and benefits in the second quarter of 2023.
Boston Scientific notified the state of Texas in March 2023 that it would cut 120 jobs at a Houston facility it acquired as part of its $1.225 billion purchase of Preventice Solutions in 2021. The company told MassDevice that it initially informed employees of the intent to transfer the work in April 2022. Affected employees had the opportunity to apply for positions at the company’s facility in Arden Hills, Minnesota.
The company also filed in California to notify the state of its plans to close its facility in Fremont, California. That includes the reduction of 52 jobs. According to the WARN notice, the company reported its permanent closure on June 12, 2023. The state received the notice on July 17, 2023. Boston Scientific’s closure and reduction goes into effect on Aug. 11, 2023.
According to a company spokesperson, the closure comes amid a transfer of work currently performed at the Fremont location. Boston Scientific is moving work on the Wolf Thrombectomy platform to a facility in Minnesota. Wolf Thrombectomy came to Boston Scientific through its $269 million acquisition of Devoro Medical in September 2021.
Handheld ultrasound technology developer Butterfly Network included in its Q2 2022 earnings report that it had layoffs on the way.
Then-CEO Dr. Todd Fruchterman highlighted a plan to extend the company’s cash runway. That included “improved efficiencies and targeted reductions” in Butterfly’s workforce. The layoffs covered 10% of the company, which, at the end of 2021, had 463 total employees.
“The talent and mission-driven dedication of our team has made these decisions challenging on a personal level, but I am confident these changes strengthen our position to capture the value of our market-leading innovation and set us up for a future where Butterfly is the standard of care, everywhere,” Fruchterman said.
Cala, a neuromodulation technology developer, is laying off 107 employees, according to a WARN notice filed with the state of California on May 17, 2023. The layoffs at Cala’s San Mateo, California location go into effect on June 30, 2023. Cala develops transcutaneous afferent patterned stimulation (TAPS) therapy for treating tremor. The company delivers TAPS therapy with its Cala Trio device.
In a message to employees posted on the Bloomington, Indiana–based medtech company’s website on May 15, 2023 Cook Medical President Pete Yonkman described the layoffs as the “most difficult decision we have had to make in support of our strategy.”
“The last several years have brought significant change to our customers, our supply chain, and the way we work,” Yonkman said. “To ensure that we are positioned to be successful in this new world, our global leadership teams have implemented a new five-year vision and strategic plan that were informed by extensive feedback from our customers, employees, and leadership teams.”
Cue Health’s layoffs cover about 30% of its workforce, totaling about 329 people, according to legal filings. The diagnostic technology developer in May 2023 hit a milestone when it submitted a molecular RSV test to the FDA.
All of the permanent layoffs impact multiple San Deigo locations belonging to Cue. The layoffs also affect the company’s Vista, California, location. The state of California received notification of the layoffs on May 17, 2023. They go into effect on June 27, 2023.
On Feb. 16, 2023, Dentsply Sirona announced a cost-saving restructuring plan that includes layoffs of up to 10% of its employees.
The dental equipment maker’s most recent headcount had 15,000 employees. The cuts could affect as many as 1,500 workers as Dentsply seeks to improve operational performance and drive shareholder value creation.
Dentsply expects the effort to achieve at least $200 million in annual cost savings over the next 18 months.
“While actions that impact our team are difficult, I am confident that this plan, along with anticipated outcomes from other workstreams, will set Dentsply Sirona on a trajectory to achieve stronger, more predictable results and add significant value for all stakeholders,” CEO Simon Campion said.
Effective March 20, 2023, iCad committed to a restructuring plan that includes a workforce reduction of approximately 28%.
The Nashua, New Hampshire-based cancer detection and therapy solution developer said that equates to approximately 23 employees. It attributed the restructuring plan to ongoing industry and macroeconomic pressures. iCad’s restructuring aims to support long-term strategic goals and reduce operating expenses.
Additionally, iCad’s wholly-owned Xoft subsidiary plans to furlough 12 employees — about half of its workforce.
ICU Medical announced in August, 2023 that it plans to close a facility in Oakdale, Minnesota, resulting in the reduction of approximately 81 jobs.
Minnesota’s State Rapid Response Team received a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter from ICU Medical dated Aug. 17, 2023. It informed the state of the permanent closure of a plant and layoff of approximately 81 employees. The manufacturing facility is located in Oakdale, just east of St. Paul.
Due to changes in manufacturing operations at the Oakdale facility, plus other U.S. operations, ICU Medical plans for layoffs to begin on Oct. 29, 2023. It plans for a full business closure on Dec. 31, 2024.
In November 2022, Illumina commenced a headcount reduction totaling 5% of its global workforce. That came shortly after it reported third-quarter 2022 financial results. That report included mentions of “challenging macroeconomic dynamics that we expect will continue into 2023.”
As of its Jan. 2, 2022, annual report, Illumina’s headcount totaled approximately 9,100 full-time employees. It also declared 50 part-time employees and 1,600 temporary employees. The company made no mention of whether the workforce reduction impacts its Grail subsidiary or solely affects Illumina. As of that Jan. 2, 2022, report, Grail had 700 full-time employees and 300 temporary employees.
It remains in the midst of its much-scrutinized acquisition of Grail, which it initially spun off several years prior. The latest development in that saga came in October, when the European Commission ordered Illumina to divest Grail.
Johnson & Johnson announced restructuring and layoffs to employees around early March 2023 that could eliminate at least 1,000 jobs, according to people inside and outside of the company. The reorganization included folding the company’s Mitek Sports Medicine business into another business. People familiar with the company said the cuts will likely be felt companywide.
In October 2023, J&J’s DePuy Spine issued a WARN letter confirming 67 layoffs at a facility in Monument, Colorado. DePuy’s letter said the action comes as a result of a business decision. The company elected to permanently discontinue manufacturing, quality and distribution activities at the location.
LivaNova plans to lay off 137 employees in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Labor and Industry. It included LivaNova in its January notices under the WARN Act. Layoffs began taking effect on Jan. 31 and end at the end of 2024. Listed as a layoff, rather than a closure, the reduction affects employees at the LivaNova USA facility at 620 Alpha Drive #2 in Pittsburgh.
News of the layoffs comes at an interesting time for LivaNova. The company earlier this week appointed a new CEO after a 10-month search to fill its corner office. Vladimir A. Makatsaria, a longtime Johnson & Johnson executive, took over as the company’s CEO and takes up a board seat as well.
Makatsaria takes over amid a time of change at LivaNova. The company announced last month that it planned to wind down its advanced circulatory support (ACS) business unit.
Medtronic on April 18, 2023 started notifying employees of layoffs as the world’s largest medtech company engages in significant cost reductions as it grapples with higher costs of doing business.
In an email to employees — recounted in Minnesota’s StarTribune newspaper — CEO Geoff Martha did not say how many employees Medtronic would cut from its global workforce of more than 95,000 people. He said layoffs would take place over the coming months, with impact varying by team, region and country.
A week before the announcement, MassDevice reported on Medtronic’s plans to close a Sunnyvale, California facility, transferring the radio-frequency-ablation catheter manufacturing at the site to Ireland as Medtronic lays off 59 workers.
Pain treatment device maker Nevro decided to let go of 63 employees, about 5% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring effort in January 2024.
The Redwood City, California–based company said most layoffs affected internally focused employees, not customer-facing personnel. The job cuts should be complete by the end of Q1 2024.
Nevro said the restructuring will have a $14 million to $15 million positive impact on its full-year 2024 adjusted EBITDA
The past year has been tough for Pear Therapeutics. The digital therapeutic developer went through multiple rounds of layoffs, resulting in the reduction of roughly 162 employees.
First, in July 2022, Pear let go of roughly 25 employees, representing 9% of its workforce. The company attributed this round to overall operations restructuring amid a difficult macroeconomic environment.
Pear announced further reductions in November 2022 to extend its cash runway and reduce reliance on financing. Its reduction affected approximately 59 employees, representing 22% of its workforce. Pear expects this move to result in annual cost savings of approximately $10.7 million in 2023.
Then, on April 7, 2023, Pear Therapeutics announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and that it would pursue a sale of the business or assets. It informed the state of Massachusetts that it was letting go of 78 employees; nearly half of its headcount from the end of 200. Founder and CEO Corey McCann said on LinkedIn that the layoff included himself.
Like everyone in medtech, Philips felt the impact of supply chain issues and macroeconomic pressures. However, the company had another factor contributing to its woes: a massive respiratory device recall that continues to pile on troubles.
The Amsterdam-based medtech giant announced in October 2022 that it planned to cut its workforce by roughly 4,000 globally That amounted to about 5% of the headcount listed in its previous annual report.
In its fourth-quarter earnings report in January 2023, Philips said it planned to eliminate a further 6,000 global positions. Half the cuts will take place this year, with the remainder to be done by 2025. The layoffs represent about 13% of Philips’ global workforce.
“2022 has been a very difficult year for Philips and our stakeholders, and we are taking firm actions to improve our execution and step up performance with urgency,” said CEO Roy Jakobs.
In June 2022, the maker of syringes, blood collection and IV catheter devices reduced its workforce by 16%. Retractable Technologies attributed the decision to the completion of its facility expansion efforts. The completion of U.S. government orders related to COVID-19 vaccines also contributed.
The staff reduction affects the Little Elm, Texas-based company’s production, operations and logistics departments. Retractable Technologies projected overall annualized savings of approximately $2.1 million, or 13% in annual payroll expense. Separation costs are expected to be approximately $200,000.
As of March 11, 2022, the company had 235 employees.
Siemens Healthineers Diagnostics filed with the state of New Jersey in November 2023 to confirm the planned layoffs of 300 employees at its Morris, New Jersey location.
The reduction comes after the company initiated plans to move its Atellica manufacturing from the New Jersey site to its Swords site in Dublin, Ireland.
Due to external headwinds, including COVID-19, inflation, supply issues and labor shortages, the company looked to “compensate for the adverse impacts” on its performance.
Spine surgery technology developer Surgalign said in November 2022 that its board approved a corporate restructuring plan that includes layoffs.
Deerfield, Illinois–based Surgalign declined to disclose how many jobs it may cut as it streamlines its business. As of Dec. 31, 2021, Surgalign had 231 employees. That includes 70 outside the U.S.
The company estimated savings between approximately $30 million and 35 million in 2023.
In January 2023, Surmodics announced a delay in the regulatory timeline for its Surveil drug-coated balloon after the FDA determined it unapprovable.
Just weeks later, the company announced a restructuring effort featuring a 13% workforce cut. Based on the company’s most recent annual report listing 447 employees, the cuts could affect around 60 workers.
Surmodics estimates that its cost reduction plan could save between $10 million and $11 million through its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023.
It added further cost-cutting measures that included a layoff of 48 employees at its Chapel Hill-based subsidiary. Those layoffs included all employees furloughed initially, according to the company. The layoffs left Titan with 18 remaining employees. Due to working capital limitations, Titan halted all expenditures related to the development of its Enos surgical robot.
Six days after the 48-employee cut, Titan added layoffs for four members of its senior leadership team. Each individual remains available to assist the company as independent consultants, according to Titan.
“While we truly appreciate the impact of these changes on our stakeholders including our employees, our strategic review process has led us to believe that interest remains in the company’s assets and some of its technology, said Cary Vance, president and CEO of Titan Medical.
The medical aesthetic technology developer said in February 2023 that it plans to implement a restructuring plan that includes a large workforce reduction.
Venus Concept plans to cut 70 employees, equalling a reduction of approximately 18% of its global workforce as of Dec. 31, 2022. It completed the first phase of the reduction, which affected employees in Israel and North America, on Feb. 6.
In connection with the actions, Venus Concept expects restructuring charges between $2 million and $2.5 million. The company expects to realize the majority of its savings in the second half of 2023.
Venus Concept projects the restructuring plan to result in total pre-tax savings of between $13 million and $15 million starting in 2024.
Google’s (NSDQ:GOOGL) Verily announced at the start of 2023 that, as part of a refined strategy, it slashed 15% of its workforce. The company aims to implement a simplified operating model.
Various reports suggested that Verily has more than 1,600 employees, so the layoff presumably affected more than 200 workers.
On Jan. 11, CEO Stephen Gillett issued a letter to all Verily employees. In it, he wrote that the company enforced its workforce reduction due to discontinued programs, full control of Granular and Onduo, and redundancy in the new, centralized organization.
In its Q4 2022 earnings report, surgical robot maker Vicarious Surgical announced a 14% workforce reduction. With approximately 165 employees listed in its most recent annual report, the cuts could involve around two dozen employees.
CEO Adam Sachs said the employees laid off mostly resided in selling, general and administrative expenses. The company undertook the decision to reduce cash burn and boost R&D spending as it looks to get a quality robotic surgery system on the market.
Fast forward to the company’s Q3 2023 earnings report out today, and Sachs reported a headcount of around 130, down from 230 at the start of the year. Vicarious Surgical has pushed back the development timeline for its Version 1.0 (V1.0) surgical robotic system. The company has now earmarked an early- to mid-2026 for an FDA de novo submission for the system.
Zimmer Biomet announced in its fourth-quarter 2023 earnings report that it initiated a global restructuring program late in 2023. It aims to optimize its cost base and drive greater efficiencies. The company anticipates approximately $200 million in run-rate cost savings as it exits 2025 as a result.
According to the Warsaw Times-Union, Zimmer Biomet confirmed a 3% headcount reduction from its 18,000 global positions. That would equal about 540 jobs in the reduction.
On the company’s earnings call, transcribed by SeekingAlpha, Zimmer Biomet President and CEO Ivan Tornos said virtually all reductions are non-customer-facing positions.
He said the company factored in its reductions into its guidance.
This story originally ran on Feb. 14, 2022. Last updated Feb. 9, 2024 with additional layoff announcements. Executive Editor Chris Newmarker contributed to this report.