Solo Shire moves 500 to Boston as it pushes ahead with reorg

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Solo Shire moves 500 to Boston as it pushes ahead with reorg

November 19, 2014 | By Carly Helfand

More than 500 Pennsylvania-based Shire ($SHPG) workers are shipping up to Boston in a move CEOFlemming Ornskov┬ásays will “streamline operations and drive further efficiencies.”

Merging the two bases “will enable greater alignment and execution of priorities between the company’s commercial and research and development teams to more effectively bring innovative products to patients, as well as strengthen collaboration and cross-development of employees,” it said in a statement.With the move–part of the company’s “One Shire” cost-cutting program–the drugmaker will establish suburban Lexington, MA, as its U.S. operational headquarters, it said in a Wednesday statement. There, employees relocating from its Chesterbrook, PA, location will join the R&D teams under one roof, a strategy Shire says will enhance collaboration–and save $25 million a year beginning in 2016.

With its AbbVie ($ABBV) deal collapse now in the rearview mirror, Shire has picked up where it left off before it entered into the July merger agreement. Ornskov has said it’s time to focus on an independent company, and a fast-growing one at that: The company is back to touting its plans to hit $10 billion in annual sales by 2020, and the 32% quarterly revenue increase it announced last month suggests it’s on the right path.

And that involves pushing forward with its company-wide reorg, aimed at combining three autonomous divisions into one business with reduced overlap. On that front, the job-cutting ax fell last November in the U.K., where the company announced plans to chop up to 180 research jobs, and in European hub Switzerland, where it moved its offices from Eysins to Zug.

As for the Chesterbrook shift, the company said it plans to move employees in “several phases” starting in Q1 of next year, with hopes it can finish up within about a year. Shire will offer severance, outplacement service and other employee assistance to all directly impacted employees who don’t relocate, it said.

Also based in Lexington will be new Interim CFO Jeff Poulton. Currently head of investor relations, he’ll leave his post to fill in for current interim CFO James Bowling when he departs at the end of February.