Drug maker Pfizer is looking to cut its total workforce of 90,000 'by a couple percentage points.'

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc.  (PFE) is looking to cut its total workforce of 90,000 "by a couple percentage points," TheStreet confirmed on Thursday, Oct. 18.

The staff cuts "will affect some managerial roles and responsibilities," said company spokeswoman, Sally Beatty, in an email to TheStreet.

Earlier, CNBC reported on an internal memo to employees asking workers to retire early to offset the number of people who would need to be laid off.

"We're offering enhancements to certain benefits to lessen this effect. In total, we expect only a couple percentage points of our global colleagues to receive these benefits," said Beatty.

The company hopes to see a reduced workforce by 2019, said Beatty in a follow-up phone conversation. That would mean by sometime next year some 1,800 employees will have been shown the door by the global drug company. 

The New York-based pharmaceutical titan would likely let go nonunion employees first, according to the CNBC report.

News of the planned layoffs comes after a leadership shakeup at the company in which incoming CEO Albert Bourla will take the reins on Jan. 1, as Ian Read exits the position.

Shares of Pfizer were down 0.6% on Thursday. The company will release its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 30.

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