Development and Execution of a site closing plan including subsequent merger of entities for a pharmaceutical company

General Manager and Site Leader

Company:Warner Chilcott Deutschland GmbH (part of Allergan plc)

Role:General Manager of Warner Chilcott Deutschland GmbH and site leader of the Weiterstadt Site

Industry: Pharmaceutical

Revenue:Allergan: $16 Billion
WCD: 100 Million €

Employees: Allergan: 17,000
WCD: 250

Situation: Site closing due to volume decline

Headquarter:Allergan: Dublin, Ireland
(now part of AbbVie)

Responsibility (Revenue/Employees):

  • 250 Employees
  • 100 Million €


  • Development and Execution of a site shut down and closing plan, including sale of all tangible assets and subsequent closure of the entity.
  • Ensure production until end of 2018 and additional product supply to support product transfes to other sites (Yearly product revenue approx. $500 million)


    • Shut down and closing plan developed by local management team, alignment with global leadership team achieved and plan approved and budgeted by the board.
    • Shut down project set up, led by local management team
    • Communication plan developed and executed with site organizsation, works council/union, authorities and media
    • Innovative social plan agreed between management and works council/union
    • Execution of shut down according to plan as well as implementation of measures to support transfer of employees to new companies 
    • Continuous alignment of actions via stake holder management with global functions (e.g. Corporate communications, global HR, global Facility Management)
    • Site property and site equipment sold successfully
    • Subsequent upstream merger of entity completed


  • Shut down executed according to plan (in budget, in time, product supply ensured) while generating additonal savings of $7 million vs. budget
  • Very good cooperation with global management, site organisation and works council/union during closing phase
  • 98 % of employees stayed in the company until the targeted separation date, less than 1% court cases
  • Runner up in the Allergan „Plant of the Year“ contest in the closing year (Competition between all 15 global manufacturing sites)

Special Challenges:

Over a period of 18 months between the shut down annoucement and the final closing, the site had to ensure market supply and realize additional preproduction to allow product transfers. This required a high level of employment and engagement until the last day, although eveybody knew that their employment would come to an end.

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