Actavis success story studied by Harvard
Harvard Business School has published a case study on Actavis, the international generic pharmaceuticals company, and its president and CEO, Robert Wessman.
Actavis announced last week that a study, entitled “Robert Wessman and Actavis’ ’Winning formula’” was presented in an MBA class in international entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School.
Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Senior Lecturer in Business Administration, expressed an interest in creating a case study of how a relatively small Icelandic pharmaceutical company has today become one of the most important players in the global generic pharmaceutical business, lead by its 39 year-old CEO Robert Wessman.
Robert Wessman and other members of the Actavis senior management took part in extensive interviews with Dr. Isenberg to help develop the study, providing financial data and historical and personal information.
Robert Wessman was also a guest at the debut of the case at Harvard Business School on 22 April where he answered numerous questions from the students. A number of topics were raised, including how Actavis conducts its business and the CEO’s style of leadership.
“We are delighted that Harvard Business School is interested in Actavis’ growth story and our winning formula,” said Robert Wessman. “It’s a great honour for Actavis and for me personally to be part of the Harvard Business School curriculum.”
The study examines the company culture and the CEO’s management style. It details the Actavis story from 1999, when the company had around one hundred employees, all located in Iceland, to the end of 2007 when employees numbered more than 11,000 in 40 countries. During this period Robert Wessman led the company through 26 acquisitions as well as extensive integration of the acquired companies.
“Actavis has grown from a small domestic player to one of the world leaders within 7 years, an accomplishment which is very unusual, to say the least, especially given the extremely competitive nature of the generics industry,” said Dr. Isenberg. “The fact that Actavis has simultaneously globalized its supply chain, its markets, its research and development, and, to a lesser extent, its management, is an achievement which speaks for itself.”
Dr. Daniel Isenberg is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches classes on International Entrepreneurship and The Entrepreneurial Manager.
More than 80% of classes at Harvard Business School are built on teaching which involves case studies. Discussions on individual cases introduce students to the reality of decision making in business situations, including time constraints, conflicting goals and incomplete information.
The Actavis study will soon be made available to other business schools around the world.
For more information on Actavis, visit the group website at: www.actavis.com
About Actavis Group
Actavis is one of the world’s leading generic pharmaceutical companies specialising in the development, manufacture and sale of generic pharmaceuticals. Based in Iceland, the company has operations in 40 countries, with more than 11,000 employees.
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- Hjordis Arnadottir
- Director - External Communications
- Actavis Group
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