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Healthcare Company Cuts Sales Jobs in Boston

Posted on April 6, 2010

Boston Scientific, the world’s second-largest maker of heart devices, is cutting as many as 1,300 sales jobs in Boston, or 10 percent of its non-manufacturing workforce, because it expects sales growth for drug-coated stents and heart defibrillators will slow this year.

Natick, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific will close its international headquarters, merge the endosurgery group and combine its cardiovascular and cardiac rhythm-management groups, the company said in a Feb. 10 statement. The move will reduce expenses by as much as 7 percent, or $250 million, over the next two years, Boston Scientific officials said.

Boston Scientific employs 25,000 people nationwide and recorded 2009 revenues of $8.188 billion. It was founded in 1979.

According to BusinessWeek.com, Boston Scientific’s shares fell the most in 17 months on March 15 after the company said it stopped sales of defibrillators because of a documentation error. The devices brought in $1.79 billion last year, or 22 percent of Boston Scientific’s revenue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s heart pacemakers and defibrillators are implanted in patients’ bodies to shock hearts back into normal rhythm.

Employees are currently waiting to see which jobs will get cut.

While a Feb. 10 press release indicated only that the cuts would be made over the next two years — and did not specify where those cuts would be — the state has already scheduled several local informational meetings for anyone affected by the layoffs.

According to PressPubs.com, the medical products manufacturer announced Feb. 10 that it would reduce its global employee “non-direct labor base” by 1,000 to 1,300 people — 8 to 10 percent of its total work force — as part of a plan to reduce expenses by $200 to $250 million. There was no word at press time how many will come from its Arden Hills and Maple Grove divisions, which collectively employ about 5,000 people, but the release said company said the cuts will exclude “manufacturing-direct labor positions which are production-dependent.”

A merger is also planned between the Arden Hills division, which makes heart rhythm products such as defibrillators and pacemakers, and the Maple Grove facility which primarily produces heart stents.

The press release said eligible employees will be offered severance packages and other assistance and support. Help sessions scheduled by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development are as follows:

•1 to 3:30 p.m. April 6 at Columbia Heights City Hall, 530 Mill St.

•1:30 to 3:30 p.m. April 12 at the Mounds View Library.

•12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Park Library, 8600 Zane Av. N.