Fred Hassan

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Fred Hassan
Fred Hassan

(1945-11-12) 12 November 1945 (age 73)
Multan, Pakistan
Alma materHarvard Business School
Imperial College London
Spouse(s)Noreen Hassan

Early life[edit]

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

In 1967, Hassan graduated with a Bachelor's in chemical engineering from Imperial College London. After working in the fertilizer industry with an affiliate of Hercules Inc., he enrolled at Harvard and obtained an MBA in 1972. He married Noreen Shah in 1969. They have three children and three grandchildren.



Hassan was hired by Sandoz, a global pharmaceutical company, 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 80s, Sandoz pioneered its move into immunology, starting first with transplantation (cyclosporine) and later with innovations in cancer. In 1989, he was recruited by American Home Products to run their pharmaceutical operation out of Radnor, Pennsylvania.


Hassan played an important role in helping transform Wyeth from a conglomerate to a focused, research and development driven, global pharmaceutical company. In 1991, the company hired Robert Levi, formerly head of the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, to lead its research and development team. Wyeth entered into the biotechnology field 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, Hassan was asked to take over as CEO of the failing merger of Pharmacia and Upjohn (PNU).


As CEO of Pharmacia and Upjohn, Hassan made many changes, including moving its headquarters from the UK to New Jersey. Fifteen months after taking charge, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled "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 three years before the, PNU's stock value had moved from $15 billion to $52 billion.[5]


As CEO, and later Chairman and CEO of Pharmacia, Hassan oversaw the establishment of Celebrex as a large product for pain and inflammation and the successful initial public offering of the agricultural business. In July 2002, Pfizer approached PHA with a 44 percent premium and a $62 billion merger was announced. Shortly after the merger closed in April 2003, Hassan took over as chairman and CEO of Schering Plough, a struggling pharmaceutical company.


As chairman and CEO of Schering Plough, Hassan oversaw resolution of multiple legal, regulatory, research and development, and operational challenges and was able to declare a company turnaround by 2005.[6] In 2007, Schering Plough acquired Organon, a Dutch company and. Successful innovations came from Organon's research and development, 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 Warburg Pincus including as a partner and managing director. He served as chairman of Bausch and Lomb until its sale to 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), Intrexon (synthetic biology) and Chairman of Theramex (a global women's health company, headquartered in London, UK).

Hassan has been Chairman of his family companies under the umbrella headline “Powered by nature, perfected by science.” The 4 marketed products are IBgard (for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)), FDgard (for Functional Dyspepsia (Recurrent Indigestion), Fiber Choice (daily prebiotic chewable fiber) and REMfresh (advanced non-drug formulation for 7 hour sleep support). All products are carried by retails stores including Walmart.


In 1997, Hassan founded Community Hope which helps challenged individuals, especially veterans, to overcome or manage mental health issues and, where possible, lead a purposeful and stable life. Since then, twelve million dollars have been raised to further the organization's goals.

As chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) (from 2002 to 2003) and president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Associations (IFPMA) (from 2006 to 2009), Hassan led initiatives on voluntary guidelines for promotional practices and for fuller disclosure of clinical trials. In 2003, Hassan participated in work leading to the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D). He worked inside the PhRMA board to start patient assistance programs and in New Jersey received appreciation from the Health Care Institute of New Jersey for expediting Rx4NJ in 2006. In 2008, he was asked to be on the CEO of the year selection committee by CEO Group and remains a member. He was one of PhRMA's top team members working on the Affordable Care Act in 2009.


  • CEO of the Year award, Financial Times (1999)
  • 50 Best CEO's, Worth (1999)
  • America's Best CEO's, Institutional Investor Magazine (2008)
  • CEO of the Year, Scrip (2009)
  • Most profound impact on the world of business in the previous quarter century, CNBC panel (2014)[7]


Book: * 2013 – "Reinvent, A Leaders Playbook for Serial Success"

Articles in Harvard Business Review:

  • 2003 – "In Search of Global Leaders"
  • 2006 – "Leading Change from the Topline"
  • 2011 – "The Frontline Advantage"


Being an innovation oriented business leader, Fred Hassan has an extensive record of patents. The USPTO lists theses patents (already granted at well as pending).[8]


  1. ^ "Fred Hassan: I'm an Unusual Leader". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  2. ^ "Off Script - Alumni - Harvard Business School". Archived from the original on 2018-07-12. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  3. ^ Tanouye, Elyse (30 October 1998). "Turnaround becomes a reality at Pharmacia & Upjohn; drug maker's profit nearly triples, and stock is up over 50% in past year.(Company Profile)". The Wall Street Journal Western Edition: B4(E) – via Trove.
  4. ^ "Pharmacia & Upjohn to buy Sugen for $650 million". Archived from the original on 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  5. ^ Hassan, Fred. Reinvent “A Leader’s Playbook for Serial Success, pg 25, 2013
  6. ^ "#120 Fred Hassan -". Archived from the original on 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  7. ^ CNBC (20 November 2017). "Fred Hassan". Archived from the original on 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  8. ^
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 – August 5, 2013
Office eliminated