The world according to Serge
Later this week Olivier Brandicourt will officially take the helm of that soap opera turned three ring circus which used to be pharmaceutical company Sanofi (NYSE:SNY). A move that many had hoped would be the beginning of a turnaround for the company. As we have noted the company has a host of issues and is in desperate need of a leader. Someone who can come, hit the ground running and be given the freedom to make the changes that must be made.
Yet it’s this last point which seems to be the most problematic as some, including Diabetic Investor are concerned that our good buddy Serge Weinberg and his fellow board members won’t allow Brandicourt the freedom he needs. That it will be Serge and the board actually calling the shots.
As we reported over the weekend this concern is very real as according to several reports the company is launching Toujeo today. The question we asked is why the rush, why couldn’t they wait until next week after Brandicourt officially takes command. It’s not like there is overwhelming demand for Toujeo and it would have been a nice way of welcoming Brandicourt. Now Diabetic Investor has been unable to confirm the launch actually took place today but more evidence is coming to light that makes us believe more than ever that Serge is really running the show.
According to an interview published in the French newspaper Les Echos the mouth that roars stated; “We looked at potential deals but found the asking prices to be too high for the businesses. We have opted for a balanced a strategy of innovation and diversification that makes acquisitions not indispensable.” Yes we know there is no law against the Chairman of the Board giving interviews. (Although Sanofi stakeholders likely wish there was.) Yet one has to wonder why with Brandicourt starting in just three days did Serge feel compelled to do an interview. Why did he not defer to his incoming CEO, the guy he picked for the job?
We certainly hope Brandicourt isn’t paranoid although he just might be with Serge constantly opening his mouth and telling everyone how the company should be run, what they should and shouldn’t be doing. Yes we know that technically Brandicourt works for the board but my goodness you’d think that Serge would let this poor guy express his own views. Yet Serge who’s never meet a reporter he didn’t want to talk to can’t step away from the spotlight. This guy just loves to tell anyone who will listen how Sanofi should be run.
The real question is why didn’t Serge just take the acting off his last title and become the actual CEO. Why did he hire Brandicourt? Why are they paying him a $4 million signing bonus? Does Serge not realize that by giving these interviews and being so vocal he’s undermining the guy who was hired to run the company? Listen the troops at Sanofi aren’t thrilled with the Brandicourt choice in the first place and the more Serge talks the more these people realize that Brandicourt really won’t be in charge.
Honestly Diabetic Investor can’t wait for Serge to come to Chicago to accept his Wacky Award. This is going to be an event no one will want to miss as we can only imagine what will fall out of his mouth during his acceptance speech. We’re pretty sure he’ll be coming as we told his staff there will be plenty of media and some great wine.