Sanofi’s Christopher Viehbacher: Fired but Recognized

Have you heard of a chief executive being fired yet the company continues his programs? Yes, of course. And not just once.

Well, that’s what happened at pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. After CEO Christopher Viehbacher steered the company to global competitiveness, the board decided to let him go yet continue on his strategies.


Viehbacher has led the way from crucial hirings to acquisitions to relocation of offices and research facilities making the company more nimble, and yes, profitable.

Then why was he fired??

Insiders say it’s because he could not communicate his strategies with the board. That they are not pleased with his execution.

Hmm… Sounds funny. Really.

Can’t the board just consider the results? Besides, why are they going on with Viehbacher’s strategy, anyway? Some joke.

The way we see it, it’s simply a personal kind of thing.

Then again, personal differences is not really a sick thing. It happens. One may have the best of minds but if he can’t get along especially with key people then he’s bound to get hacked.. If not, the other party would.

It’s a jungle out there. Thus, you got to watch your back. Like politics, they go in teams and create parties. You got to pass the bean counter to make it somehow. Remember, even state-owned corporations especially want loyalists to handle their firms. Hence, if only for this matter, then the system is sick after all.

With that, have you ever wondered why even “failures” continue to get more opportunities than real talents? Networks. It pays to have a network of good friends.

As for Viehbacher, he not only has friends but a good track record to boast of. Otherwise, like many hopefuls, show us your talent.

What’s your take?