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Shooting yourself in the foot, pharma style

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

The removal of Chris Viehbacher from the helm of Sanofi last week was a big shock. The loss of more than €18bn from the company's market capitalization was an indication that nobody (outside the company's higher echelons at least) really expected such a dramatic event to occur. Even if there had been rumblings of discontent as indicated by the CEO's letter dated early September and leaked in late October, in which he questioned the board over their intentions for his position, still it felt unlikely that the axe would fall so suddenly and absolutely.

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