Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chairman and CEO Frazier -- WSJ Video: Vioxx® "Like Penn State's Sandusky Matter"?

We all by now know that Merck Chairman and CEO Ken Frazier is leading the oversight of the investigation into "who knew what, and when?" -- at Penn State. Even so, this is pretty bold -- from this morning's Wall Street Journal breakfast -- do watch the middle portion (about two minutes in):

Per Mr. Frazier, this morning:
. . . .This does not define the institution [Penn State]. . . so, too with Merck -- Vioxx® did not define us. . . .

Without knowing all the Sandusky facts (and given that he waived a preliminary hearing this morning), I'd be very careful about equating these two -- in any fashion (even along the Frazier-suggested lines). There can be no way to know whether the Sandusky matter will be more devastating to Penn State than Vioxx was -- to Merck. Time will tell, but this really caught me off guard.


Anonymous said...

WHEN is the BoD going to pull the plug on Ken and this Penn State business? If he is going to pursue this investigation he should be on leave from Merck and he most certainly should NOT be comparing ANY business of Merck's to what is going on at Penn State.

The level of inappropriate this has reached without Board intervention is mind numbing. Merck has its own reputation issues and does not need to be linked to the still unfolding tragedy at Penn State in any matter whatsoever.

Condor said...

I think it is important to remember that Mr. Frazier will not be doing any of the actual investigative work -- he and the Penn State Trustees have hired former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and will only receive a final report (no interim reports), from Freeh. So his actual operational role is limited to reading a final report -- perhaps a year, or more, from now.

Thus -- from NJ Online:
. . . .Since those firings, the board chose Frazier to conduct an internal investigation. . . . Frazier appointed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate the Sandusky allegations and the school’s response. . . .

So -- on balance, I am not very concerned about this Frazier PSU role being any real drain on his efforts at Merck. The shifting PR sands effect is an unknown, though -- could be a positive, or a negative.

We will have to see.

Namaste, and thanks for taking the time to write. Do stop back!