NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Wednesday it would cut 4,300 jobs and close more than half its 38 manufacturing plants to save $1.5 billion.
"It's difficult to see our valued colleagues leave the company, but right-sizing our workforce across all areas is critical to achieving our productivity goals and enhancing the competitive position of the company," Chief Executive Officer James Cornelius said.
The job cuts, representing 10 percent of Bristol's 43,000 employees, will largely be made in 2008 and 2009, the company said.
Cornelius said Bristol would continue to support employment in research and development, a wide range of medicinal products such as vaccines and blood components known as biologics and "commercialization talent."
Bristol, headquartered in New York, said it would close its manufacturing facilities by 2010 and cut the number of brands in its mature-pharmaceuticals portfolio by 60 percent by 2011.
The company also said it would sell its medical-imaging business and was exploring options for its Mead Johnson & Co. ConvaTec wound-care unit and Mead Johnson nutritionals businesses, which include products such as Enfamil baby formulas.
Bristol also announced its first dividend increase in five years.