How Fred Hassan Rescued Pharmacia & Upjohn

The job isn't finished, but the CEO's overhaul has worked wonders

It didn't take long for Fred Hassan to figure out how bad things were at Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. Two weeks after arriving from American Home Products Corp. to take over as chief executive in 1997, Hassan called a meeting in Sweden to discuss the launch of the company's upcoming bladder-control medicine, Detrol, in the U.S. But instead of drawing up marketing plans, a stunned Hassan discovered that Pharmacia's very rights to the drug were in question. Competitor Forest Laboratories Inc. claimed that an arrangement on a related product gave it an option to strike a marketing deal on Detrol. The drug had puttered along in development at Pharmacia without anyone moving aggressively to resolve the problem.

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