martes, 4 de marzo de 2014

Vasella...Adios: A rey "muerto" rey Joerg puesto.

Joerg Reinhardt

Today in Basel, Novartis shareholders ratified Joerg Reinhardt's move into the chairman's seat. 

That might be considered the final, official farewell in former Chairman Daniel Vasella's long goodbye. 
But shareholders also approved other, more nitty-gritty changes in corporate governance that explicitly undo some of Vasella's work. 

It's as if the company has shut the door behind Vasella and called in house cleaners to dust away his fingerprints. "It strikes me as a deliberate attempt to officially call the end of the Vasella era at Novartis," Florian Wettstein, director of the Institute for Business Ethics at Switzerland's University of St. Gallen, told The Wall Street Journal. 

 If you've been following Novartis news lately, you know those nitty-gritty changes--the disbanding of two board committees that kept Vasella in the loop on M&A deals and executive pay, among other things--are just a small part of the ongoing overhaul there. The Swiss drugmaker sold off its blood diagnostics business, announced a strategic review of its other smaller businesses, and continued a global cost-cutting effort with layoffs, facility closures and consolidations, and more. 

Novartis human resources building
 by Frank Gehry
Obviously, the strategic review runs counter to Vasella's most obvious project--diversifying Novartis beyond the patent-dependent, risky pharma business. But there are more direct and personal shifts, too. As the WSJ points out, the company has nixed Vasella's long-time plans to build a $110 million training center next door to his lakeside home near Zurich. It's selling the 12.4-acre property, according to its annual report, perhaps to Vasella, who has an option to buy. 

Daniel Vasella
Novartis is also backing away from the exorbitant executive pay Vasella enjoyed. That's partly for political reasons; it was Vasella's controversial 72 million-franc non-compete agreement that helped push Swiss voters to approve new restrictions on executive pay. Though Novartis rescinded that deal, the damage was done--and now has to be repaired. (Más)

Y en el recientemente celebrado "Investor Day" Joe habló y dijo:

So let me start by talking about the strategy and I want to start by talking a little bit about where we have come from as a company. So back when Novartis was formed in 1996 with the combination of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, we were less than 50% healthcare and over the next 17 years obviously we managed the portfolio to be focused 100% on healthcare. And you can see here some of the acquisitions and the divestitures that occurred over the years and shaped the company. The most significant was Alcon done in 2010. Now we have completed the Alcon acquisition and we’re moving into the next growth phase of the company. Those shareholders that have stuck with the Company have been well rewarded so our total shareholders return since creation of Novartis has exceeded that of our peers and the world pharma market. 

 Now, we’re now moving into a new phase of the Company and we’re sharpening the execution of our strategy and we’re strengthening the portfolio. So what does that look like? I want to reinforce the strategy of the company and that has not changed. Our strategy is to win through science based innovation that’s focused on high growth segments of healthcare

Joe Jimenez

Since I’ve become CEO, I have focused the company on

three strategic priorities

  • the first is, extending our leading innovation, which to me means, making sure that our pipelines are best in class in every segment that we compete in; 
  • the second is accelerating growth, which means turning that innovation into sales and profit growth that hits the P&L; and 
  • then finally driving productivityI talk about productivity as being strategic at Novartis given that it allows us to reinvest and to also show profit improvement. 

 Now let me touch on innovation. For over 10 years, we have been refining our approach to discovery and starts with the pathways approach continually focusing on future technologies as well as creating a unique culture in our research organization that leads to significant innovation. Now the pathways approach that we talk about involves studying molecular signaling networks within cells that are responsible for normal cell function. Now we know that there is only a handful of pathways that we know of and they’re shared across diseases. (Más)

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