Internal restructuring
Location of affected unit(s)
Manufacturing Of Furniture And Other Manufacturing
Other Manufacturing
32.5 - Manufacture of medical and dental instruments and supplies

550 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
2 February 2012
Employment effect (start)
1 November 2011
Foreseen end date
31 December 2014


UK-based medical technology firm Smith & Nephew will cut 550 jobs worldwide over the next three years, out of a global workforce of around 11,000. It has not been reported in which countries the job losses will occur.

Details of the plans were announced on 2 February 2012. Some 220 jobs have already been lost as part of a cost-saving strategy announced in November 2011, while another 550 reductions will take place over the next three years. The cuts will mainly affect back-office staff.

The firm is Europe's largest artificial hip and knee manufacturer and also has endoscopy and advanced wound management units. Patients' decisions to defer elective surgery during the economic downturn have been highlighted as an explanation for falling margins. Chief executive Olivier Bohuon has predicted that economic conditions will continue to affect the business.

Media reports state that artificial hip joints with a metal-on-metal design have been under scrutiny following safety concerns about other manufacturers' products. This is a second reason for declining profitability in the firm's artificial hip division. However, the press has reported on assurances from Smith & Nephew that their products are safe and effective.


  • 2 February 2012: The Financial Times
  • 2 February 2012: Reuters
  • 2 February 2012: Smith & Nephew press release


Eurofound (2012), Smith & Nephew, Internal restructuring in World, factsheet number 73058, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/73058.