A Drugmaker In Need Of A Pick Me Up

When Paul Girolami became chief executive of Glaxo Holdings PLC in 1980, the first thing he did was clean out the cupboards. At the time, the British drug giant was a purveyor of everything from animal feed to vitamins. He sold assets and spun off businesses until nothing but prescription drugs remained. He pumped up research spending and launched Zantac, the blockbuster anti-ulcer compound. Glaxo's sales, profits, and stock price zoomed, transforming the company into Europe's high-tech standout.

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