Transforming Sanofi-Aventis

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR358
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 2008-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Sanofi-Aventis
Industry : Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals
Countries : France; Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"At a time when every drug giant is (or ought to be) urgently experimenting to discover the right business model, Sanofi has long been perceived as too rigid, too traditional, maybe even too French, to learn Pharma 2.0... [T]he legacy of this titan of French industry, badly damaged in recent years, now depends entirely on Viehbacher and his next-generation team." 1

- Walter Armstrong, Pharmaceutical Executive, in July 2009.


For Christopher A. Viehbacher (Viehbacher), CEO of pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, the first eight months in the company were nothing short of hectic. Viehbacher had taken charge in December 2008, at a time when Sanofi-Aventis had increasingly come to be viewed as a French relic incapable of keeping up with the rapid changes in the pharmaceutical industry. Determined to transform the company into a global diversified healthcare leader, he took various tough decisions that earned the appreciation of analysts. The analysts said that the initial results looked positive with the company performing very well in 2009.

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1] Walter Armstrong, "French Revolution,", July 1, 2009.

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