Novartis cuts 54 jobs, Disney shutters Pixar Canada

Published On October 11, 2013 | By Rob Arias | News, News & Commentary, Planning & Development

The Emeryville Community Services department finished off its popular “Dinner & A Movie” series with a showing of Pixar’s “The Incredibles” at Doyle-Hollis park on September 27th. While Emeryville-based Clif Bar threw a party for the city through its Summer Concert series and even provided its own band, Pixar wouldn’t even acknowledge attempts by the city to partner with the community (In fact, they might want royalties from the city if they actually found out about this). Another opportunity for the mega-corporation to take a more proactive role in the community, wasted. Still one of the highest trafficked posts on this blog asked “Post Disney era, Is Pixar still a “good corporate citizen?“, the answer appears to be obvious.

Meanwhile, north of the border, Pixar jumped on the tax-incentives being offered by the city of Vancouver but three years later, is shuttering its offices to “refocus our efforts and resources under one roof in Emeryville”. It’s not clear if the estimated 100 layoffs in Canada will net to a job boost here in Emeryville but it may overall be good news for company’s commitment to staying here longterm. Definite bad news for the city is the announcement that Novartis will cut 50 of its 900 jobs “as part of a realignment of the facility away from vaccine R&D and more toward diagnostics”.

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Disney closes doors on Vancouver Pixar branch after just three years

It opened just three years ago amid a flurry of expectation that Vancouver was finally luring some of the top animation companies, but now Pixar Animation Studios has shut its branch in Gastown, causing nearly 100 employees to lose their jobs.

Chris Wiggum, Pixar’s senior publicist, said Wednesday that the company is consolidating business at its main studio in Emeryville, California.

“The team at Pixar Canada is incredibly talented and we are so proud of the excellent work we have produced there,” he said, in an emailed statement to The Vancouver Sun.

“However, as we look at the creative and business needs of our studio, we’ve made the decision to refocus our efforts and resources under one roof in Emeryville and will be closing the studio in Vancouver.”

B.C. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond said she was sad to see Pixar leave, but cautioned against citing the departure as a reflection of the entire industry.

“It is disappointing any time a company like Pixar closes its doors, she said. “But I think it is telling that the day after the Pixar closure, we have the B.C. success story — Hootsuite — holding a job fair for 100 new high-tech jobs.”

The Vancouver-based social media analytics company is hiring 100 extra staff after it announced in August that it had raised $165 million US in venture capital financing.

While Wiggum wouldn’t provide an exact number of employees laid off at Pixar, he said it was fewer than 100. Amir Nasrabadi, the studio’s general manager, told The Sun in 2009, shortly before Pixar set up shop here, that between 75 and 100 people would work at the Vancouver location, most of them from local ranks.

Read More on VancouverSun.com →


Amid uncertain future for vaccines business, Novartis to lay off 54 in Emeryville

Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics Inc. will lay off 54 employees in Emeryville next month as it concentrates more on diagnostics and less on vaccines research and development.
But the future of the division — particularly the vaccines business that was built around the old Chiron Corp. — appears uncertain.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reported Friday that the Swiss-based company will cut jobs in vaccines research, global legal, information technology, human resources, finance and procurement. Those employees reportedly will be offered jobs at other Novartis locations, including the vaccines and diagnostics division’s Cambridge, Mass., headquarters, the company said in an emailed statement Friday to the San Francisco Business Times.
About 900 people are employed by Novartis in Emeryville.
“Novartis plans to strengthen the focus of the Emeryville site on its diagnostics business and will continue its operations there related to pharmaceutical and medical research,” the company said in its statement.
Read More on SFBusinessTimes.com →

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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