Fred Hassan

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Fred Hassan (born November 12, 1945),[1] is a business executive who works for Warburg Pincus and was CEO of three global pharmaceutical companies.

Fred Hassan
Fred Hassan

(1945-11-12) 12 November 1945 (age 75)
Multan, Pakistan
Alma materHarvard Business School
Imperial College London

Early life[edit]

Hassan was born in Multan, Pakistan, on November 12, 1945. He is the son of Syed Fida Hassan, a Pakistani statesman who also served as Pakistan's ambassador[2][3] to India. His mother was Zeenat Hassan, a women's rights advocate.[4]

In 1967, Hassan graduated with a Bachelor's in chemical engineering from Imperial College London.[5] After working in the fertilizer industry with an affiliate of Hercules Inc., he enrolled at Harvard and obtained an MBA[6] in 1972. He married Noreen Shah in 1969. They have three children and three grandchildren.



Hassan was hired by Sandoz, an R+D-based global pharmaceutical company (which later became Novartis), while he was still finishing his MBA at Harvard.[7] 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 (AHP)to run their pharmaceutical operation out of Radnor, Pennsylvania.


Hassan played an important role in helping transform AHP, later renamed Wyeth (WYE) from a conglomerate to a focused, research and development-driven, global pharmaceutical company. In 1991, the company hired Robert Levy, formerly head of the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, to lead its research and development team. Wyeth (WYE), 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 innovations (individual blockbuster products with annual sales of over a billion dollars) 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 & Upjohn (PNU).[8]


As CEO of Pharmacia and Upjohn (PNU), Hassan made many changes, including moving its headquarters from the UK to New Jersey.[9] The New York Times called this the "Fred Factor: investors' belief that the man who masterminded American Home Products' ascension can do an encore."[10] Fifteen months after taking charge, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled "Turnaround becomes a reality at Pharmacia and Upjohn".[11] PNU acquired the pre-revenue cancer company Sugen in 1999 for $650 million,[12] which subsequently yielded Sutent, a billion dollar product. In 2000, PNU completed a mega-merger with Monsanto (MON) to become Pharmacia (PHA).[13] In the three years leading to Hassan's next CEO assignment, PNU's stock value had morphed from $15 billion to $52 billion.[14]


As CEO, and later chairman and CEO of Pharmacia (PHA), Hassan oversaw the establishment of Celebrex[15] as a large product for pain and inflammation, and the carve-out followed by a successful initial public offering of the agricultural business under the name "Monsanto" (MON). Monsanto (MON) saw major value expansion and was subsequently acquired by Bayer for $62.5 billion.[16] 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 (SGP), a struggling pharmaceutical company.


As chairman and CEO of Schering Plough (SGP), Hassan oversaw the resolution of multiple legacy legal, regulatory, research and development, and operational challenges and was able to declare a company turnaround by 2005.[17] Older products, including Nasonex (allergies), Remicade (inflammation), Temodar (brain cancer), OTC Claritin (allergies), OTC Miralax (laxative), were revitalized in the marketplace. In 2007, Schering Plough acquired Organon,[18] a Dutch company and successful innovations came from Organon's research and development, including Keytruda[19] (cancer), Implanon (long acting contraception) and Bridion[20] (faster recovery from anesthesia). Keytruda,the product from Organon R&D, and acquired by Schering Plough, is expected to become the largest pharmaceutical product in the world by 2024 at an annualized level of $24 billion in sales.[21] In late 2009, Schering Plough merged with Merck(MRK),[22] and Hassan left for Warburg Pincus (WP), a private equity company in New York City.[23] "During Fred's tenure of six and a half years, Schering Plough's stock rose 62 percent, versus a drop of 21 percent for the unweighted basket of six peers."[24][25]


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. As of June 2019, he was a board member of Amgen(AMGN)[26] (biotech), Intrexon(XON)[27] (synthetic biology), Modernizing Medicine (Electronic Medical Records), Vertice (Pharmaceuticals), and chairman of Theramex (a global women's health company, headquartered in London, UK).[28]

Hassan has been chairman of Caret Group of companies under the umbrella headline “Powered by nature... perfected by science™ .”[29] The 4 marketed non-prescription products are IBgard®[30] (for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)), FDgard®[31] (for Functional Dyspepsia (Recurring Indigestion)), Fiber Choice®[32] (daily prebiotic chewable fiber) and REMfresh®[33] (advanced non-drug formulation for 7 hour sleep support)). All products are carried by thousands retail stores and are also available online.[34] All four brands were acquired by Nestle Health Science on September 1, 2020.[35][36]


In 1997, Hassan founded Community Hope[37] which helps challenged individuals, especially veterans, to overcome or manage mental health issues and, where possible, lead a purposeful and stable life.[38] As of 2018, 14 million dollars had been raised to further the organization's goals.[39]

As chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA)[40] (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.

He was one of PhRMA's top team members who worked on the Affordable Care Act in 2009.

In 2008, he was asked to be on the "CEO of the Year" Selection Committee by the CEO Group and remains a member.[41]

In 2012, Hassan was the founding participant of RDL (Research & Development Leadership) summit as an ongoing annual forum for Life Sciences R&D leaders, CEOs, and industry specialists, to gather and discuss R&D productivity, innovations and access to medicines.[42]

In 2012 Hassan co-founded "The CEO Forum" with Accenture.[43] In this annual forum, Life Sciences CEOs come together and discuss management strategies. These CEOs typically include those from the highest market capitalization companies in Global Pharmas, Insurance, Global Med Tech, Global online and retail operators, Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations, and Consumer Health Care Companies.

Since 1987, Hassan has been frequently sought by media companies to comment on various events on TV and on other platforms. In 2020, he appeared 9 times on TV in this regard.


  • 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)[44]
  • Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Ellerin Award (2015)[45]
  • "Entrepreneur of the Year" (Florida) (2019) [46]


Book: * 2013 – "Reinvent, A Leaders Playbook for Serial Success"[47]

Articles in Harvard Business Review:

  • 2003 – "In Search of Global Leaders"[48]
  • 2006 – "Leading Change from the Topline"[49]
  • 2011 – "The Frontline Advantage"[50]

Other Articles[edit]

  • 2013 - "So You Want to Be a CEO. Start Here", J. Lublin, WSJ [51]
  • 2018 – "The big bang is coming to healthcare, and it will speak the next industrial revolution" – CNBC[52]
  • 2019 - "The Rule of Three" (the concept of distilling lists to the three items that matter most); Fred Hassan, CEO Magazine[53]
  • 2020 - The Arc of Leadership, JP Donlon, NACD Directorship Magazine (September/October)[54] The pictures of the 4 CEOs in the print edition mentioned Mr. Harold S. Geneen ("strict central control leader"), Mr. Welch ("value enhancer and Neutron Jack"), Mr. Mullaly ("executed Ford turnaround") and Mr. Hassan ("Innovation CEO")
  • 2020 - "Modern Bioscience Has Risen to the Challenge. Now It's Our Turn1"; Chief Executive Magazine, Fred Hassan[55]
  • 2021 - "Carlyle, Warburg join $123m series D round in Chinese biotech firm Abbisko"; Tech in Asia, Miguel Cordon[56] “Warburg Pincus, with a long history of investing in life sciences globally, will leverage its network to help the company to accelerate global partnership and global clinical development,” Fred Hassan, a board member of American biopharmaceutical company Amgen, commented on behalf of Warburg Pincus."


Fred Hassan Orangerie – Farleigh Dickenson University, New Jersey: 2014[57]

Newark Academy Sports Center; New Jersey:2003


Being an innovation oriented business leader, Fred Hassan has an extensive record of patents. The USPTO lists these patents (already granted as well as pending).[58]


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  4. ^ "Fred Hassan: I'm an Unusual Leader". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
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  7. ^ "Off Script – Alumni – Harvard Business School". Archived from the original on 2018-07-12. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
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  11. ^ 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.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Pharmacia & Upjohn to buy Sugen for $650 million". Archived from the original on 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
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  14. ^ Hassan, Fred. Reinvent “A Leader’s Playbook for Serial Success, pg 25, 2013
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  17. ^ "#120 Fred Hassan -". Archived from the original on 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
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  21. ^ Johnathan Weber, December 4, 2020, Analysts Priject
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  24. ^ Professor Ram Charan: Reinvent: XVII
  25. ^ SGP proxy statement peers over the period 4/25/03 to 11/3/09 (Abbot, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co, Pfizer) All numbers are operating (i.e., non-GAAP) numbers.
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  43. ^ Omar Abbosh, Paul Nunes & Larry Downes, Pivot to the Future: Discovering Value and Creating Growth in a Disrupted World; April 2019.
  44. ^ CNBC (20 November 2017). "Fred Hassan". Archived from the original on 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
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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