Irish jobs at risk as Cook Medical plans 500 layoffs worldwide

18 May 2023

Image: © Wesley JvR/

There are reports that nearly 30 Irish jobs could be impacted, as the medical-device maker reacts to supply chain changes.

Cook Medical has revealed plans to cut roughly 500 jobs – about 4pc of its workforce – worldwide as it joins the wave of tech companies cutting future costs and focusing on efficiency.

In a memo sent to all staff this week, Cook Medical president Pete Yonkman said the last few years have brought “significant change” to the company’s customers and supply chain.

As a result, the company has prepared a “five-year vision and strategic plan”, which includes the decision to make job cuts.

The medical device maker has 12,000 employees worldwide, including more than 800 staff at its European base in Limerick. A company spokesperson reportedly told Limerick Post and Limerick Live that 27 jobs are potentially impacted by the decision.

“This is a very hard choice, and not one that we have made without significant thought,” Yonkman said. “Steps like this are especially difficult because they impact the lives of people we have come to respect as colleagues and friends.

“But it is a decision that we are convinced is critical to achieving our long-term success and our vision for who we want to be as an organisation.”

Cook Medical said no hourly manufacturing employees or hourly employees in distribution centres will be impacted by the global job cuts. The memo also asked hybrid employees and onsite employees “who are capable of working from home” to do so for the remainder of this week.

The company also said it will take “local laws and regulations” into account when informing employees outside of the US about job losses.

Cook Medical first established its Limerick operations in 1993. The site designs and manufactures specialist medical devices used for minimally invasive surgery by interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, urologists and endoscopists.

Mounting job losses

Earlier this week, Vodafone jumped on the current trend of job cuts, with plans to cut 11,000 jobs globally to become a “leaner and simpler organisation”.

LinkedIn announced another wave of layoffs from its global workforce earlier this month, along with plans to wind down InCareer, its local job finding app in China.

E-commerce giant Shopify also announced plans to cut 20pc of its global workforce, to prepare for a decade of “high velocity and massive change”.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic