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Pfizer-Wyeth: The Blockbuster Model's Latest Monster?
The blockbuster model is dying a very slow and painful death and there will be more collateral damage before it's all over. Early morning brought news that Pfizer might buy Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, including its biologics division, for $60 billion.
Will a short-term financial quick fix steamroll a vibrant company, with all the inevitable layoffs and culture issues that will result?
We've already heard that the would-be buyer has offshored most of its IT positions and brought in non-U.S. citizens with work visas to corporate headquarters to do the work. OK, maybe that's not a revolutionary concept anymore, but it's not a harbinger of good things to come, either. It might be a nice time to read or reread Peter Rost's book.
I'm not a "Buy US" freak and I'm not against global competition, but I do believe that loyal employees deserve some loyalty, too. Telecom and IT companies that went this way didn't end up well.
Just visited Toyota's NUMMI plant in California. The company's having hard times now, too, but, as a policy, it doesn't lay off employees! Instead it finds other ways to save.
More companies need to follow this example. I don't care how Pollyanna-ish this may sound, but the hidden costs of ripping out human infrastructure add up in ways that haven't yet been translated into annual reports or monthly accounting sheets. Is there anyone out there compiling data on this, hard-nosed financial data that proves that restructuring damages the corporate core while it improves the accounting ledger?
Why is big pharma trying to reinvent itself through acquisitions, rather than innovation and new business models? Wasn't insanity neatly defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
If genetic diversity is a good thing for the biosphere, so is corporate diversity for the industry. Hope the deal doesn't go through.