Thursday, January 7, 2016

Unofficial RUMINT from Alex Tullo on DuPont

Alex Tullo is C&EN's reporter for the Dow/DuPont merger. From his Twitter account, a comment on the DuPont Central R&D layoffs: 
UNOFFICIAL: of the 270 in DuPont CR&D, 173 laid off, 63 transferred to other business units, and 34 will remain in "Science and Innovation"
Assuming 1) these numbers are accurate, and 2) that I understand this correctly, this is a 64% reduction in Central R&D headcount? That sounds terrible and essentially a capitulation of DuPont's long-term R&D model. Yeesh. 

16 comments:

  1. via @baconmeteor

    HR would like to remind you that this Friday is the "bring a cardboard box to work day”. We’ll celebrate right after the all-hands meeting.

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    1. There were plenty of boxes provided for outgoing employees provided in at least one of the R&D building lobbies - as well as an armed Delaware State Trooper. Site security is very worried that someone is going to go nuts.

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    2. I've been in situations where security was obviously present after an announcement. Sure people are not happy, but they are far more likely to walk out than go nuts in my observation. Of course they should have security around in strategic locations, but have some faith in what were once trusted employees. I had all of my stuff mostly packed up anyway, but my former employer let me walk out on my own (undoubtedly with security cams watching).

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    3. When I was let go, my boss accompanied me and we bid goodbye at the gates! I will not forget that and that he informed HR no security person was to accompany me. The stupid people in HR with MBA degree need to understand that we are not a blue collar worker on rampage mode because we are laid off! That said, can someone belt out quick statistics on damage caused by individuals to their company immediately upon relieving of their job? Do not include those stories where they comeback with semi-auto and other guns that we see in the post offices!

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    4. I never understood why they go overboard with the security stuff. A white-collar degreed professional isn't going to go on a rampage knocking over cubicles if they plan to continue their career.

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    5. too much security = hint of bullying, plus shielding the company from negligence liability, in case someone does start something, even if it is just making an unpleasant scene

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  2. Even worse when you consider:

    1. CR&D headcount in early summer 2015 was about 330. A 10% layoff in July 2015 plus above average attrition brought that down to 270 by end of year 2015.

    2. CR&D headcount approx 2 years ago was more like 450. About 1/3 of CR&D, BCSE (Biochemical Sciences & Engineering) was moved in its entirety to the Industrial Biosciences business. Industrial Biosciences will be hit with their layoffs next week and the rumors are that it will be as big as what happened to CR&D. Heaviest to be hit will probably be what used to be BCSE at the Experimental Station.

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  3. On the Dow side they just had an explosion in North Andover, MA.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/01/07/blast-injures-north-andover-chemical-plant/Axv00zfsYAVtkwyjswAOYO/story.html

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    1. Same site as the fatality they had a couple of years ago? This one involves Me3Al, I think the fatality involved Me3In(?).

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    2. Yup, you'd be correct. One would think they would have proper procedures dealing with pyrophoic materials like that, but I guess not.

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    3. Especially since many of the behavioral questions on the test you have to fill out as part of a job application are safety related scenarios.

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  4. Ag will have their decision day, Monday, 1/11. Rumor is Haskell Lab for Tox... is no more.

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    1. I can confirm the rumor that the Haskell Tox lab is going to be eliminated - in fact, I thought it already had been.

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    2. My understanding is that Haskell got notifications Monday 1/4. I've heard rumors of vast layoffs but am also aware of specific individuals being retained. Haven't heard if they'll be a rump Haskell or reassigned to another unit.

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  5. Haskell was part of CR&D. FSR&E also got cut heavily. Notifications will continue until the end of January.

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    Replies
    1. The 270 referred to above includes only Material and Molecular Sciences & Engineering. Haskell, DuET, and CCAS are not included.

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