New Merck CEO Dick Clark spoke at a Goldman Sachs "CEO Unscripted" event this morning -- if you'd like to, you may sign-in, and listen to his remarks.
Or, if you don't feel like getting email from Goldman Sachs, soliciting investment/trading business -- you can jump to the direct stream, as I've lifted it, to save you the trouble of registering.
That "stripped" webcast link is here -- but Jacob Goldstein, for the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog has pulled the best quotes:
. . . .Speaking at an event hosted by Goldman Sachs, Clark said Merck will “obviously eliminate some of the duplication” in the company’s sales force as part of the integration with Schering. He also suggested that the company will look at outsourcing some of its sales work, in order to be more flexible for product launches. [Condor/Editor Note: this appears at 16 minutes, 45 seconds into the webcast.]
Clark also brought up manufacturing [Condor's Note: @ 20:12 in the webcast]. Over the past several years, Merck went from 40 plants down to 25 plants — but after the merger, Merck now has 96 manufacturing plants, Clark said. "I think there’s an opportunity there, just off the top of my head," he said.
And a little more: “There’s still a lot of duplication, not only in sales force, but in marketing organizations and corporate organizations, and issues like that,” he said. He also mentioned that "the number of research sites you need” is “something that has to be looked at. . . ."
Dick Clark also said that perhaps half of the merger synergies should be seen during 2010 (@ about 21:40 into the webcast). That's very aggressive.
In any event, tomorrow morning, a vast number of the US salespeople will be "outsourced" to use CEO Clark's euphemism. In plain English, they will be out of work, with families to feed.