Why Covetrus lays off employees in 2024?

The technology business is known for its rapid rate of change. This holds for the job market as well. The recent trend of widespread layoffs in the U.S. technology industry serves as an example. Recently, hundreds or thousands of workers at many tech businesses have lost their jobs in the largest layoffs they have ever announced. This has made many Covetrus employees concerned that their company would be next. When people’s livelihoods are at risk, it’s natural to be worried for your own.

Covetrus, Inc. is an American company that offers services and products connected to animal health. Covetrus, a Portland-based company, recently laid off an unidentified number of employees as part of its restructuring. In this article, we learn more about the layoffs at Covetrus.

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About the company

Covetrus was once known as Butler Animal Health Supply, a Henry Schein affiliate. In February 2019, Henry Schein separated its animal health business, including Butler Animal Health Supply. Then, it combined with Vets First Choice to become Covetrus. Butler Animal Health Supply changed its name to Covetrus North America. Thus, it became a subsidiary of Covetrus as part of the spin-merger.

Covetrus was acquired for $4 billion in 2022 by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a New York-based private equity firm, and San Francisco-based TPG Capital.

In response to similar accusations made by the Western District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office, Midwest Veterinary Supply entered a guilty plea in June 2023. For bringing misbranded drugs into the interstate market, the company was fined $11 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture. Also, it was placed on one year of probation.

In February 2024, Covetrus announced new leadership positions. This is to help it achieve its goal of improving veterinary practitioners’ financial and clinical outcomes. Ben Wolin, President and CEO of Covetrus, stated that these appointments will help the company better meet the needs of independent veterinarian offices.

Covetrus announced two leadership appointments:

  • Amy Sanford as global general counsel and chief human resources officer, and 
  • Kelly Gottfried as chief commercial officer.

Covetrus, headquartered in Portland, Maine, has about 5,700 employees. It serves over 100,000 veterinary clients throughout the world.

Covetrus lays off employees in 2024

Covetrus has laid off an unknown number of employees as part of a restructure. A corporate spokesperson said, 

“This move has resulted in structural and team modifications. This includes the need to remove employees. Management takes these choices carefully. We are working closely with those affected employees to ensure a smooth transition.”

Covetrus stated that the restructure will provide “an aligned and simpler customer experience” for veterinarians and pet owners. They utilize the company’s animal care and practice management services.

The company refused to reveal how many jobs were lost and the reasons. Some employees use LinkedIn to make remarks on their choices and edit their profiles.

Riley Hovis, an account manager in Orlando, Florida, has worked for Covetrus since February 2023. He commented on social media, saying, 

“Today, there was a layoff across the company at Covetrus. I am now looking for a new job.” She posted a #OpentoWork note beside her profile picture, saying, “Excited to make connections and explore opportunities for the next step in my career.”

Sal Shaikh has been the business’s vice president of digital and B2B eCommerce since February 2021. He posted the green #OpentoWork notice from Atlanta as well.

“Hello, everyone.” My position at Covetrus has been affected by structural changes and strategic direction updates,” he wrote. “I am proud of the effort, team, and accomplishments. 

achieved during my period at Covetrus.” I’m getting ready for my next adventure.”

A new corporate headquarters for Covetrus was opened on Portland’s East End in December 2022. As of September 2023, 277 of those workers were working in Maine.

$23 million penalty for Covetrus

On February 12, a federal court heard a guilty plea from Covetrus’ North American subsidiary. This happened over the introduction and delivery of mislabeled veterinary prescription drugs into interstate commerce. On May 8, Covetrus was confined to one-year probation. It agreed to pay criminal fines and forfeitures totaling more than $23 million.

From March 2019 to December 2021, Covetrus delivered more than $20 million in misbranded veterinary medicinal products. It happened from its retail sites to end users in areas where such shipments were illegal. This is according to the Western District of Virginia US Attorney’s Office.

These Covetrus shipments were mislabeled because they did not have sufficient usage instructions. Court filings show that the prescription medications were also provided to unauthorized clients. Although they included personal accounts, no details were provided about the kinds of medicines sent. Also, it does not mention how many of them were sent or who the illegal recipients were.

The FDA regulates animal drugs for the sake of both animal and human health. This means making sure that prescription animal drugs are legally supplied. Also, it should be dispensed with a valid prescription under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

As per the court documents, the FDCA has put limitations on veterinary prescription drugs. This is to prevent drug-resistant bacteria and microbes from developing. These limitations not only protect animals from the potential harm of prescription drugs but also aim to avoid the overuse of antibiotics and other prescription drugs.

“In addition, the FDCA’s limitations make sure drugs are sent to locations where they will be properly stored. Thus, it ensures their viability and prevents diversion.” Further, the limits protect the human food supply from dangerous drug residue in the edible tissues of animals sent for slaughter.

Covetrus will lose $21.5 million in misbranded medicine income under the terms of the plea agreement. In addition, the business will pay the Virginia Department of Health Professions (VDHP) $1 million and a $1 million penalty. Also, the company will be on probation for one year and must set up proper compliance procedures to prevent future offenses.

The matter was investigated by the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) and the Virginia State Police, with help from the VDHP.

George A. Scavdis is a special agent in charge of the FDA OCI’s Metro Washington Field Office. He said in a press release as follows:

“The illegal or careless distribution of prescribed animal medicines threatens not only the treated animals but also the public health of the United States. It is raising the chance that people will develop resistance to antibiotics that we unknowingly eat.”

The sentencing took place on May 8 at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Abingdon, Virginia. Covetrus sent the following statement in response to the media:

“Covetrus North America closed a criminal investigation involving the supply of misbranded prescription veterinary medication. The U.S. Attorney’s Office carried it out for the Western District of Virginia.”

“We completely cooperated with the United States Attorney’s Office. We are committed to following all federal and state prescription veterinary drug requirements. Covetrus’ objective is to assist veterinarians in achieving better financial and clinical outcomes. We will remain in compliance with all federal and state requirements.


On May 2, 2024, Covetrus declared the opening of a new distribution center in Grimes, Iowa. It will give veterinarians access to over 5,000 goods and services for managing their practices and treating large and small animals. The company is expanding its facility to satisfy the increased demand for its products and services in the Midwest.

To summarize, a need for mass layoffs in the I.T. industry is becoming more common, particularly in the U.S. Given the recent increase in layoffs, it’s essential that Covetrus employees remain aware and ready.