Along with employer concerns of an employee exodus due to an impending economic recovery, and their efforts to come up with strategies to retain employees, Massachusetts-based Genzyme faced a bigger and more urgent employee retention problem.
The company had a $18.5 billion takeover offer from the giant French drug manufacturer Sanofi Aventis.
The information, obtained by the Boston Business Journal, “outlines a new employee retention program designed to keep workers from fleeing the company in the midst of layoffs” and the potential hostile takeover.
The program is geared to “vest all employee stock options in the event the company is taken over.” To obviously calm nervous employees, the action was to be taken immediately, regardless of when the options were set to vest.
Within the information obtained, Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer noted, “During these challenging times, Genzyme is committed to doing the right thing for employees and helping you remain focused on the important work you do.” She added, “I expect that this new program will help us in moving past the current distractions and staying focused on the critical work we have ahead of us."
Although, Genzyme’s board of directors rejected Sanofi's $69 per-share hostile takeover offer, Sanofi was still interested in acquiring the company. The offer expired in December.