(The following case is a fictional account, based on actual fact patterns from court cases)
Morgan Life Sciences Inc. was a biotechnology firm headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Initially, it focused on generic and over-the-counter medications, which it manufactured and distributed to drugstores and supermarket chains. Morgan completed a successful initial public offering in 1994, but by the late 1990s, the generics market had become increasingly competitive. Morgan steadily lost ground as its larger, low-cost competitors pushed prices relentlessly downward.
The Morgan board promoted Wendy Shaw CEO in 1999. Recognizing that Morgan needed a major change of course, Shaw cut capital expenditures to the bone. Over the next five years the company built a decent stockpile of cash, even as its market share shrank. Meanwhile, she persuaded Morgan’s board that the company should invest in biotechnology.
Shaw, who held a doctorate in biochemistry, was charismatic and engaging. She quickly assembled a sophisticated, well-connected Scientific Advisory Board. In 2005, the Board made its first big move when it recommended hiring Andrei Petrozzi.
Published Date: 15/02/2008
Suggested Citation: Ben Flaumenhaft and Constance E. Bagley, "Morgan Life Sciences," Yale SOM Case 08-021, February 15, 2008
Keywords: Biotechnology, Science, Women in Leadership