Told You So . . .
I started my blogging career in March this year, writing a post called The New Robber Barons. In it I used Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell and his oversized pay and pension as an example of capitalism out of control. And I also pointed out that Pfizer stock had taken the opposite direction of his pay. Six months later the Pfizer board of directors agreed with me and Dr. McKinnell lost his CEO job.
In May I wrote Pfizer Celebrity Lawyer Runs To Court to Shut Me Up. In this post I pointed out that "I suspected there might be a conflict of interest between Mr. Kindler . . . and Ms. Katen." And boy was there a conflict of interest. Three months later Mr. Kindler became CEO and Katen decided to "pursue other opportunities."
In July I wrote about the UnitedHealth CEO in Cheating Executives, who had amassed over a billion dollar worth of stock option, by cheating the system and backdating his options. This week the board of directors for UnitedHealth had enough and fired him. AP commented today, "William McGuire ran UnitedHealth Group Inc. like his personal fiefdom, allowing the former CEO and his cronies to gain tremendous wealth with few internal controls to stop them. "
In August I wrote a post called Bye, bye Peter Dolan, hello Karen Katen??? Two months later Mr. Dolan was gone, too. But I was wrong about Karen Katen showing up at BMS.
All in all, though, a pretty good track record.
So what is my prediction about me and Pfizer and celebrity lawyer Ron Green?
Clearly I will win. But so far they have behaved like mad people and it is impossible to predict how people with no common sense will behave; what they do is anyone's guess. Meanwhile, if any future opponent to Ronald Green does a search on his name plus the word lawyer, they immediately find the story on how Mr. Green tried to mislead the Court. Not a good outcome for a famous lawyer.
Pfizer has also lost enormous public relations goodwill by treating me like a pariah and then firing me. There have been innumerable articles about this fight. For any reasonable employer, it would clearly have been preferable to find a single position for one employee, among 100,000 other employees, but Pfizer's hubris stopped them from doing that.
We asked for another job for me, in writing early in 2004, giving lots of examples of positions on a director level that would be acceptable, but they ignored this letter and later repeated that there was no position available on a VP level, conveniently "forgetting" our suggestions for jobs on a director level. That's how badly they didn't want to hire me.
And now they are backed into a corner with the world watching and a book out there telling the story.
To make matters even worse they asked for sanctions against me for writing the book, which sent sales sky rocketing, and continued sending letters ahead of all my public appearances, until I pointed out that this was like pouring gasoline on fire. In my post I have three more radio interviews coming up this week. I wrote "The more attention they give to me, the more credibility they give me. Best would be for them to be totally silent and stop acting like bullies."
And that, finally, made Pfizer stop sending their self-defeating letters.
This gives you an idea of what happens when lawyers run a corporation, without input from reasonable business people. And considering that a lawyer is now in charge of the entire corporation, my prediction is that this won't be the last time Pfizer stumbles.
And of course, in their panic they now resort to go on the record lying to a federal judge, which I wrote about in Ronald Green, Famous Lawyer for Pfizer Caught Lying in Court.
The point of all this is that no matter how things end, Pfizer has proven to the world that they are complete amateurs when it comes to adaptation and dealing with challenges. Such a corporation is not likely to give shareholders a good return on their investment.
You heard it here first.