Boston Sci to Cut Jobs Amid Sluggish Device Market

The layoffs will reportedly affect about 5 percent of employees and 2 to 3 percent of sales people within the clinical division of the company's cardiology, rhythm, and vascular business-which includes operations in Arden Hills, Maple Grove, and Plymouth.

Amid slow growth of its heart devices, Boston Scientific Corporation plans to lay off employees within its biggest business unit, according to media reports.

Reuters, citing a source close to the company, said that the layoffs will affect about 5 percent of employees and 2 to 3 percent of sales people within the clinical division of the company's cardiology, rhythm, and vascular business.

Boston Scientific is based in Natick, Massachusetts, but it employs about 5,000 people within Minnesota. A message left for a company spokesman wasn't immediately returned Thursday morning, but the Star Tribune reported that the cardiology, rhythm, and vascular business includes operations in Arden Hills, Maple Grove, and Plymouth.

A Boston Scientific spokesman told both Reuters and the Star Tribune that layoffs were planned but declined to provide further details.

Reuters reported that Boston Scientific Chief Medical Officer Keith Dawkins told employees in a Wednesday conference call that the job cuts were necessary so that the company could remain competitive.

“We have to be responsible to our shareholders,” he reportedly said. He added that the company's top managers hope to increase shareholder value by 70 percent over the next three years.

The layoffs come at a time when numerous medical device companies are battling difficult market conditions. Just last month, Fridley-based Medtronic, Inc., announced plans to reduce its global work force by 4 to 5 percent, or 1,500 to 2,000 positions during its fiscal fourth quarter-which ends in April.

Boston Scientific employs about 25,000 worldwide. Its 2010 revenue totaled $8.19 billion.