This looks to be a rather subtle set of complaints, albeit voiced through politely-clenched teeth, by an arguably still operative Fred Hassan “leave-behind” advisor, no? [Read the pull-quotes slowly, below.]
And Tom Randall, writing for Bloomberg, takes the bait — hook, line and sinker, here. Fred sits back and smiles — enjoying that his soundbite/talking point made it into today’s press cycle by proxy.
It is from a Bloomberg update to a story I mentioned earlier on Tuesday — hilarious(!), and transparently so:
“. . . .Ken [Frazier]’s being the savior of the company by leading the Vioxx defense strategy plays a lot into” his promotion, said [Christopher Bowe, a New York-based analyst for London research firm Informa Plc.], who was an adviser to Schering-Plough Corp. CEO Fred Hassan before the sale to Merck. “Merck’s self image is really important inside the company. Ken was the obvious choice. . . .”
While Frazier’s legal experience is extensive, his experience running the operations of a company is limited and may cause doubt for some investors, Informa’s Bowe said.
Another rather solid question might be why we’d value the word of someone who makes sure that Tom Randall mentions his connection, as an adviser, to Fred Hassan, and Schering-Plough.
The longer I look at it, the more I think I see “Fast” Fred’s green eyes (in decidedly-jealous fashion) peering through Bowe’s remarks, by proxy, here. And his deal-goggles, are — as ever — on. It’s just that this time, no one (not on his payroll) shares his particular brand of goggle-fog.
Ah, Fred — this year, you blew past Merck’s mandatory retirement cut-off age anyway (not that the board would have thought about you for a split-second, as any sort of successor to Dick Clark).