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Updated: June 14, 2024

Covetrus lays off some employees in restructuring

Covetrus headquarters building in Portland. File photo / William Hall Animal-health company Covetrus is headquartered on Portland's East End.

Covetrus, a Portland-based animal health company, has laid off an unspecified number of employees as part of a restructuring.

“This move has resulted in structural and team changes, including the need to eliminate roles,” a company spokeswoman told Mainebiz by email. “Leadership takes these decisions seriously and we are working with those impacted individuals closely to ensure a smooth transition.”

Covetrus said the restructuring supports "an aligned and simplified customer experience" for the veterinarians and pet owners who use the company's animal-care and practice-management services.

While the company declined to say how many positions were eliminated and why, some employees took to LinkedIn to comment on the decision and update their profiles.

“Today, there was a company-wide layoff at Covetrus, and I am now seeking a new opportunity,” posted Riley Hovis, an account manager in Orlando, Fla., employed at Covetrus since February 2023. She attached an #OpentoWork notice on her equine-themed profile picture and added, “Excited to connect and explore new possibilities for the next step in my career."

From Atlanta, Sal Shaikh, the company’s vice president for digital and B2B eCommerce since February 2021, also posted the green #OpentoWork notice.

“Hi Everyone, Structural changes and strategic direction updates at Covetrus resulted in my role being impacted,” he posted. “I feel proud of the work, the team, and the results delivered during my time at Covetrus. Time for my next adventure.” 

Covetrus, with 100,000 customers worldwide, has a total workforce of more than 5,700 employees. As of September 2023, 277 of those employees were based in Maine, where Covetrus opened a new corporate headquarters on Portland's East End in December 2022.

In May, the company opened an 8,000 square-foot distribution center in Grimes, Iowa, to serve veterinarians and practices in 17 states.

From public to private 

The company, led by CEO Ben Wolin, was formed in 2019 from the merger of Portland-based Vets First Choice, a veterinary technology company, and the animal-health division of Melville, N.Y.-based Henry Schein Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC).

In 2022, Covetrus was acquired by two private equity firms, New York-based Clayton, Dublier & Rice and San Francisco-based TPG Capital, in a $4 billion cash deal that took Maine’s largest publicly traded company private. 

In February, Covetrus agreed to pay $23 million to settle a federal criminal charge that the company sent misbranded prescription drugs to customers throughout the U.S. for nearly three years.

Covetrus also announced two leadership appointments in February — Amy Sanford as global general counsel and chief human resources officer, and Kelly Gottfried to chief commercial officer.

Sanford, based in Nashville, Tenn., was previously with Dallas-based U.S. Anesthesia Partners.

Gottfried, in Jackson, Fla., was promoted from her position as chief marketing officer at Covetrus. She now oversees sales, marketing and service operations for Covetrus North America.

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