Shire is to relocate more than 500 jobs from its Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania site and establish Lexington, Massachusetts as its US operational headquarters.

The move is part of its ongoing efficiency programme and will streamline business globally through two principal locations – Massachusetts and Switzerland – with support from “a limited number of regional and country-based offices around the world”. Ireland-domiciled Shire said the moves should lead to $25 million in savings a year beginning in 2016.

Shire chief executive Flemming Ornskov said the firm “has a great opportunity to combine our Chesterbrook and Lexington talent with the leading biotech resources in the Massachusetts area, and we consider ready access to these resources an important element in the future growth of our company”.
Employees will relocate in several phases beginning in the first quarter of 2015 and the process should be completed a year later. Those who do not move  “will be offered severance, outplacement service and other employee assistance”.

New interim CFO

Meantime, Shire also noted that interim chief financial officer James Bowling will leave the company at the end of February. Last month, it had announced that he would go at the end of the first quarter of 2015 to join water firm Severn Trent.

Mr Bowling will be replaced by Shire’s head of investor relations Jeff Poulton, who joined the firm in 2003. The position will be based in Lexington.