Fred Hassan

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Fred Hassan
Born Fred Hassan
(1945-11-12) 12 November 1945 (age 72)
Multan, Pakistan
Nationality USA
Alma mater Harvard Business School
Imperial College London
Occupation Managing director at Warburg Pincus
Known for CEO of Schering-Plough, CEO of Pharmacia & Chairman B+L
Spouse(s) Noreen Hassan
Children 3

Early life[edit]

He was born in Multan, Pakistan on November 12, 1945, the son of Fida Hassan a distinguished statesman in Pakistan, who also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to India. His mother was Zeenat Hassan, a women’s rights advocate. [1]

In 1967, he graduated with a bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College (London). After working in the fertilizer industry with an affiliate of Hercules (Wilmington, Delaware), he enrolled at Harvard from where he obtained an MBA in 1972. He married Noreen Hassan in 1969. They have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.



He was hired by Novartis, a global pharmaceutical company (then known as Sandoz) while he was still finishing his MBA at Harvard.[2] Eleven years later, he was asked to turn around the largest operating unit, Sandoz US. During the 80’s, Novartis pioneered its move into immunology, starting first with transplantation (cyclosporine) and later with innovations in cancer. In 1989, he was recruited by Wyeth (then American Home Products), to run their pharmaceutical operation out of Radnor, Pennsylvania.


Fred played an important role in helping transform Wyeth from a conglomerate to a focused R+D driven, global pharmaceutical company. In 1991, the company hired Robert Levi, formerly head of the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH, to lead its R+D. The company entered biotechnology by buying Genetics Institute (in 1991). The company also acquired A.H. Robins (in 1989) and American Cyanamid (in 1994) to strengthen its global operations. Important billion dollar innovations including Effexor (anti-depressant), Enbrel (anti-inflammatory) and Prevnar (vaccine) came out of these strengthened operations. In 1997, he was asked to take over as CEO of the then failing merger of Pharmacia and Upjohn (PNU), which had previously occurred in 1995.


As CEO of PNU, he made dramatic changes, including moving headquarters from the UK to New Jersey. Fifteen months after taking charge, the Wall Street Journal ran an article “Turnaround becomes a reality at Pharmacia and Upjohn”.[3]PNU acquired the pre-revenue cancer company Sugen in 1999 for $650 million[4], which subsequently yielded Sutent, a billion dollar product. In 2000, PNU completed a mega merger with Monsanto to become Pharmacia (PHA). In the 3 years before this event, PNU’s stock value had moved from $15 billion to $52 billion.[5]


As CEO, and later Chairman and CEO of PHA, important moves were made including the establishment of Celebrex as a large product for pain and inflammation and the successful IPO of the agricultural business as the new Monsanto. In July 2002, Pfizer approached PHA with a 44% premium and the $62 billion merger was announced. Shortly after the merger closing in April 2003, he took over as Chairman and CEO of Schering Plough, a pharmaceutical company in dire straits.


As Chairman and CEO of Schering Plough, he led important moves to resolve the multiple legal, regulatory, R+D and operational challenges and was able to declare the turnaround by 2005.[6] In 2007, Schering Plough acquired Organon, a Dutch company and, later, important innovations came from Organon’s R+D, including Keytruda (cancer), Implanon (long acting contraception)and Bridion (faster recovery from anesthesia). In late 2009, Schering Plough merged with Merck and Hassan left for Warburg Pincus (WP), a private equity company in New York City.


Hassan has played varying roles at WP including being a partner and Managing Director and serving as a Chairman of Bausch and Lomb until its sale to Bausch Health (then Valeant) in August 2013. Hassan served as board member of Time Warner from 2009 until its sale to AT&T in June 2018. He is presently a board member of Amgen (biotech) and Intrexon (synthetic biology).

External Engagements and Awards[edit]

His awards include


 -"CEO of the Year” awarded by Financial Times

 –“50 Best CEO’s”… Worth magazine


 –“America’s Best CEO’s”… Institutional Investor Magazine


 –“CEO of the Year”… Scrip


 –“A CNBC panel named Hassan to a list of those who have had the most profound impact on the world of business in the previous quarter century.”[7]

While in New Jersey, Fred Hassan founded Community Hope in 1997. $12 million dollars have been raised since that time to help challenged individuals, especially veterans, in overcoming or managing their mental health issues and, where possible, leading a purposeful and stable life.

In 2008 he was asked to be on the "CEO of the Year" Selection Committee (CEO Group) and currently is still part of.

His public policy contributions include...

• As Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA)(in 2002-2003) and President of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Associations (IFPMA) (2006-2009), he led initiatives on voluntary guidelines on promotional practices and also the fuller disclosure of clinical trials.

• Participated in work leading to the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D) (2003)

• Worked inside the PhRMA board on starting patient assistance programs (and, specifically for New Jersey, received appreciation from Health Care Institute of New Jersey for expediting “Rx4NJ” in 2006).

• Part of Phrma’s top team on ACA negotiations: 2009


Articles in Harvard Business Review

2003 – "In Search of Global Leaders"

2006 – "Leading Change from the Topline"

2011 – "The Frontline Advantage"

2013 – Authored “Reinvent, A Leaders Playbook for Serial Success”… discussed in venues, including the World Bank.


Business positions
Preceded by
Jan Ekberg
President and CEO of Pharmacia
May 1997 – April 2003
Office eliminated
Preceded by
Richard de Jongh Osborne
Chairman of Schering-Plough
April 2003 – November 3, 2009
Office eliminated
Preceded by
Richard J. Kogan
CEO of Schering-Plough
April 2003 – November 3, 2009
Office eliminated
Preceded by
Gerald M. Ostrov
Chairman of Bausch & Lomb
March 2010 – present