Smith & Nephew, a medical device manufacturer based in the United Kingdom, reversed a statement it made last week regarding layoffs at the company. Last week, the company blamed 100 job cuts around the world on the 2.3 percent medical device tax. However, Olivier Bohuon, CEO of Smith & Nephew, played down concerns.
In a conference call with investors, Bohoun said, "(The layoffs were) just a mix of things in the environment that we have seen a year ago, having driven us to make the changes we are making, and this is why it is what it is." He continued, "So, I mean, the 63 people have nothing to do with the Obamacare per se."
In Memphis, Tennessee, 63 workers at the medical device giant lost their jobs last week. In total, the company’s plant in Memphis, Tennessee hires 1,800 workers. An additional 20 workers in Andover, Massachusetts lost their job. There were also 20 job cuts in Europe. However, the company refused to share the exact number of layoffs it has undergone.
Joe Metzger is a spokesman at Smith & Nephew. In earlier remarks last week (now refuted by the CEO), he said, "The nearly $30 billion tax on medical devices that took effect Jan. 1, 2013 has impacted a number of companies across the U.S. Smith & Nephew is not immune from this added expense burden.”