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The only Maine company listed on the S&P 500 Index is temporarily cutting employee salaries due to losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Portland Press Herald reports that Idexx Laboratories Inc. of Westbrook, which employs about 3,000 people in Maine, is making the cut due to a virus-inspired shrinkage of demand for the company’s veterinary products and diagnostic services. A memo leaked to the media outlet on Wednesday discussed the 10 percent cuts for most U.S. salaried employees, with senior management taking bigger hits — 30 percent for Idexx CEO Jay Mazelsky and 20 percent for vice presidents, corporate vice presidents and executive vice presidents.
The biotechnology company, based in Westbrook, employs roughly 9,000 people, including 6,000 around the world. As the only Maine company listed on the S&P, Idexx reported revenue of $2.4 billion in 2019, up 8 percent from the previous year. The company spent $70 million expanding its Westbrook headquarters and building a new laboratory in Germany.
“The broader uncertainties related to COVID-19 require us to focus on what we can control,” Mazelsky wrote. “We need to take quick and deliberate action to reduce costs in ways that protect our financial health and leave us well-positioned for future growth.”
The newspaper reported that the biotechnology company is also suspending some benefits, including a 401(k) match. Before cutting payroll, Idexx restricted travel and put a freeze on hiring and promotions, according to a company spokesperson, who added that the new cost-saving measures “are in keeping with our goal of job preservation.”
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