DEED: Boston Sci. Laid Off 160 in MN in March

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported that 160 Minnesota employees were affected by Boston Scientific's layoffs earlier this year.

About 3 percent of Boston Scientific's Minnesota employees were affected by layoffs that it announced in March, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

DEED recently reported that 160 employees at Boston Scientific's Maple Grove and Arden Hills facilities were laid off as part of the cuts.

Boston Scientific is based in Natick, Massachusetts, but it employs about 5,000 people within Minnesota and is one of the state's largest employers. In March, the company reportedly announced plans to lay off 5 percent of employees, including 2 to 3 percent of sales people within the clinical division of its cardiology, rhythm, and vascular business. That business unit has operations locally in Maple Grove, Plymouth, and Arden Hills.

At the time the layoffs were announced, Reuters reported that Boston Scientific Chief Medical Officer Keith Dawkins told employees that job cuts were necessary so that the company could remain competitive.

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

Boston Scientific spokesman Dave Knutson told Twin Cities Business on Tuesday that the company would not disclose specific numbers regarding layoffs, adding that the reductions were consistent with restructuring initiatives that the company previously announced.

Just a month before Boston Scientific announced its layoffs, local medical giant 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 ended in April.

Two months later, Medtronic revealed that 268 of its 8,000 employees in the Twin Cities were affected by that reduction. Medtronic spokesman Brian Henry told Twin Cities Business at that time that about 700 employees accepted voluntary retirement or early separation offers that were made available in February. In addition, about 1,700 employees from the entire company-across all levels, geographies, and business segments-were laid off.