Agilent Cutting 300 Jobs, Exiting NMR Business

Nancy Crotti

October 17, 2014

2 Min Read
Agilent Cutting 300 Jobs, Exiting NMR Business

In its latest move to better focus on life sciences, diagnostics, and applied markets, Agilent Technologies has announced it will shutter its nuclear magnetic resonance business. The move will cost 300 jobs.

Most of the job cuts will take place within the next 12 months and affect employees in Yarnton, U.K., and Santa Clara, CA, where the company is headquartered.

Agilent paid $1.5 billion-- the largest acquisition in the company's history--to enter the NMR business by acquiring Varian Inc. in 2010.

In early 2013, Agilent announced it would exit the OEM and specialty magnet business and later the MRI business to focus resources on the core NMR portfolio.

The company's 2013 restructuring included the company letting go of about 450 workers, though overall headcount was up by 100 to 20,600 during the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2013, according to Agilent's annual report for the fiscal year.

Despite adjustments, the NMR business has continued to fall short of growth and profitability objectives, the company said.

Agilent, which was spun off from Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) in 1999, has been making other major moves. On Sept. 17, it announced that CEO William P. Sullivan would retire Oct. 31, 2015. The company named Mike McMullen CEO-elect, president and chief operating officer. A 30-year industry veteran, McMullen has been president of the Agilent's chemical analysis group since 2009.

That same day, Agilent said it would turn its electronic measurement business, Keysight Technologies Inc., into awholly owned subsidiary. Agilent had presaged that news in September 2013, revealing plans to separate into two publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff of the electronic measurement business. It expects to complete the separation in early November.

All of these changes apparently boil down to Aglient's goal to focus more on "higher-value life sciences, applied markets and diagnostics solutions," McMullen said.

Agilent will stop taking new NMR system orders immediately, but will honor existing customer orders and service contracts, the company said.

It will take an approximate $72 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter to cover the cost of leaving the NMR business. It expects a $30 million decline in revenues in fiscal 2015, but about $10 million in operating profit the same year.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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