The 'Fred Factor': The Saga of a Turnaround Specialist

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN066 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Leadership / Change Management / Turnaround strategy

Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1995-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : -
Industry : Pharmaceuticals
Countries : US; Global


This case is about Fred Hassan (Hassan) who is widely known as the turnaround expert in the pharmaceutical industry. Hassan in his career spanning over 25 years had restructured some major pharmaceutical companies and earned reputation as a prolific dealmaker. He occupied top executive ranks in some big drug companies and built a reputation for being in tune with the front lines. His strategy was to reach out to sales people as he considered sales to be the key in gaining control of the top line.

The case describes how Hassan had revived and restructured some weak pharmaceutical companies such as Pharmacia & Upjohn and Schering-Plough and brought them back to profitability.

One of the first turnarounds of Hassan was reviving Pharmacia & Upjohn. As part of his restructuring strategy for Pharmacia & Upjohn, Hassan reorganized the company's operations, moved the company's headquarters, installed a new management team, and generated several promising new drugs. In 2003, Hassan took over the responsibility of reviving the struggling Schering-Plough. The case discusses how Hassan tried to salvage the ailing company by employing a methodical, eye-on-the-long-term approach with primary focus being on sales force.

The case also discusses the merger between Schering-Plough and Merck which was orchestrated by Hassan. He initiated the merger with an aim to create a dynamic new force in the pharmaceutical industry by harnessing the strengths of both the companies. The case concludes by discussing the future plans of Hassan wherein he planned to look for new avenues but not retire.


Study the leadership qualities and management skills of Fred Hassan.
Evaluate the strategies adopted by Hassan in turning around Pharmacia & Upjohn.
Understand how Hassan steered SP through turbulent times and orchestrated its merger with Merck.
Understand the issues and challenges in turning around a company.


  Page No.
The Turnaround King of the Pharmaceutical Industry 1
Fred Hassan and His Career 2
Turnaround of Pharmacia & Upjohn 4
Reviving Schering-Plough 6
Orchestrating the Mega-Deal 8
Outlook 10
Exhibits 12


Turnaround, Leadership, Turnaround specialist, Turnaround-and-transform person, Turnaround plan, Recovery process, Action Agenda , Integration planning, Restructuring, Reverse merger, Reviving, Decision making, Operational expertise, Reorganization

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