Walgreens is set to layoff more than 500 workers – 10 percent of its corporate workforce weeks after paying city of San Francisco $230 million over its sales of opioids
- Walgreens said it plans to slash its corporate staff by about 10%, as it streamlines operations and focuses on consumer-facing healthcare businesses
- None of the 504 roles being cut are based at its stores, micro-fulfillment outlets or call centers, a company spokesperson said
- Walgreens is been looking to expand beyond its core business, with acquisitions of healthcare services operator VillageMD and urgent-care Summit Health.
Walgreens Boots Alliance is to layoff 504 corporate employees as it a piling up of financial obligations for opioid litigation and other legal matters.
Most of the cuts will be made at the drugstore giant’s Deerfield, Illinois headquarters or its Chicago office.
The layoffs represent about 10 percent of the company’s corporate workforce.
Walgreens Boots Alliance employs over 325,000, according to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report.
‘None of these roles are based at our stores, microfulfillment centers or call centers. We’re grateful for the many contributions by the team members who will be leaving our organization, and are committed to supporting them as much as possible during this transition,’ Spokesman Marty Maloney said.
Maloney denied that the layoffs were connected to the company’s financial liabilities.
The company said during its March earnings report it had paid out $5.4 billion for opioid-related legal claims.
While making the settlements, the company has denied any liability in regards to allegations of its role in the opioid crisis.
Walgreens has recently moved beyond its drugstores to become a direct provider of medical care through the Walgreens-backed VillageMD, which bought Summit Health. The company contributed $3.5 billion toward the purchase.
The transaction, valued at $8.9 billion, also involved investment from Cigna’s Evernorth.
Last week, Walgreens disputed in a federal court a $642 million arbitration award for health insurance provider Humana in a fight over drug prices. Walgreens called the sum ‘staggering.’
CEO Rosalind Brewer said in a message to employees being laid off obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, the layoffs were among a series of steps the company is taking ‘to drive sustainable cost savings to help fuel investments for future growth.’
Brewer did not make any reference to legal issues the company is facing.
Brewer thanked workers for their contributions stating: ‘fWhile difficult, these changes are necessary to streamline our business, unlock value and support our long-term growth. Together, we will continue driving toward our vision to be the leading partner in reimagining local healthcare and wellbeing for all.’
The laid-off workers will have counseling and mental health services available at the company. Workers with at least three years of service are getting severance of two weeks per year.
Maloney said all affected employees will have outplacement support.
Postings at the blog TheLayoff said workers with at least three years of service were getting severance of two weeks per year.
Earlier this month, it also settled with San Francisco, agreeing to pay the city $230 million over its sales of opioids.