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Pfizer Announces Layoffs at Rockland County Research Facility and New Jersey Corporate Office

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is set to cut jobs at its research facility in Rockland County and its corporate office in New Jersey, citing economic reasons, as the company grapples with uncertainty surrounding the demand for its COVID-19 products and undergoes an enterprise-wide cost realignment program.

In December, Pfizer filed a notice with the New York Department of Labor, revealing its intention to lay off 285 employees at its research facility located in Rockland County. This announcement comes as part of Pfizer’s ongoing efforts to streamline operations and cut costs.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Pfizer also disclosed that up to 791 employees from its corporate office in New Jersey could face layoffs on February 12, 2023, unless they opt to relocate to another Pfizer facility. The primary destination for relocation is Pfizer’s new global headquarters, situated at The Spiral, an iconic office tower within Hudson Yards. Pfizer secured a 20-year lease for The Spiral in 2018. For those who choose not to relocate, this move underscores the company’s commitment to optimizing its workforce and resources.

The reason cited for these workforce reductions in the December New York WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice was purely “economic.” In October of the previous year, Pfizer had scaled down its 2023 revenue projections by a significant $9 billion and initiated an “enterprise-wide cost realignment program,” according to reports by fiercepharma.com.

Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive officer, Albert Bourla, acknowledged the unique challenges facing the company, particularly concerning the demand projections for its COVID-19 products. He emphasized this during a conference call in August, stating, “Clearly, there is a higher level of uncertainty regarding the demand projections for our COVID-19 products than for the rest of our business.”

The research facility on North Middletown Road in Pearl River, Rockland County, is one of Pfizer’s nine major Research and Development (R&D) sites and has been a hub for vaccine development and manufacturing for over a century. The facility, which boasts a workforce of 1,012 employees, has long been a cornerstone of Pfizer’s vaccine research. In 2022, Pfizer announced ambitious plans to modernize and expand the Pearl River campus, reinforcing its commitment to the site’s future. The impending layoffs are set to begin on February 12, 2024, and are expected to conclude by March 25, 2024.

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