As with any operation, there are priorities. And so while Pfizer has decided to save $1.5 billion by eliminating certain R&D functions by closing a few sites and slashing up to 3,500 jobs, money is still being spent elsewhere. The latest example involves the purchase of three AW-139 helicopters, which can be had for $13 million to $15 milllion each if 'pre-owned' (seehere and here).
We asked a Pfizer spokesman how much is being paid for a new set of whirlybirds, but have not received a reply. In explaining the purchase, Pfizer maintenance director Brad Cohen says "we have offices and R&D centres around the world, so the mobility of our people is of critical importance...the reliability of our corporate helicopter fleet is extremely important to us" (here is the statement and here is a brochure).
As it should be. Like hard-charging personnel at any company, Pfizer execs and managers sometimes need to get somewhere in a hurry, and motors and rotors are expected to function properly. Now, the Pfizer team can get to the next investor conference or negotiations for a promising compound that much more efficiently. And, of course, they can also more easily visit the next facility that may be closed.