Teva plant in Jerusalem
Teva plant in JerusalemArutz Sheva photo

Israeli pharmaceutical firm Teva is carrying out what is being referred to as “an aggressive streamlining move.” The firm, under CEO Jeremy Levin, announced Thursday that it would reduce its global manpower by 10% in the course of 2014, laying off 5,000 employees – an estimated 700-800 of them in Israel.

Most of the reorganization will be carried out by late 2014.

While a statement on the website of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said it would trim about 5,000 of its 46,000 jobs worldwide, it did not give a breakdown by country.

"Teva is managing its operations to achieve high levels of effectiveness in the short term, while pursuing opportunities for the long term," CEO Levin said in the statement.

"We understand that this may be a difficult time for our employees and are committed to act with fairness, integrity and respect, and provide support during this time."

The statement said the programme aimed to achieve "$2.0 billion in annual cost savings by the end of 2017 including $1.0 billion by the end of 2014."

Israeli business daily Globes quoted Levin as saying it was not yet clear how many of the company's 7,500 staff in Israel would lose their jobs.

"Most of the layoffs will be outside Israel," he said.

"Later this year, we will specify which programs we'll invest in. We'll give many more details about what we're doing at the end of the year. This year, we've saved $300 million."

Financial news website The Marker reports that following the announcement, the firm's stock has risen by 2%. The Histadrut labor federation has announced that it will oppose the move.

The move is part of a wider reorganization program presented in December, which is largely the result of the competition its flagship product, Copaxone for treatment of multiple sclerosis, has encountered.

The Marker says that the firm hopes to save about $2 billion by 2017 and that about 50% of these savings will be achieved by 2014.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Petah Tikva, specializes in generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. It is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world and one of the 15 largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide, with facilities located in Israel, North America, Europe, and South America. Its founding CEO was Eli Hurvitz z"l.