Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Chemistry, The Movie! | Main | More From Hua - A Change of Business Plans? »

December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas, Fred

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

I believe that this story has been mentioned in the comments here, but since I've heard from the actual person involved, I thought I'd pass on the canonical version. Someone I used to work with at Schering-Plough found himself (like many others in his position) out of a job in late October. He had a previously scheduled trip to Florida the next day, and as he boarded the plane, who should he see sitting in first class but Fred Hassan, the CEO of Schering-Plough who'd helped engineer the deal with Merck?

As the chemist involved put it, "After quickly scanning to make sure there wasn’t a body guard looking guy near him", he said "Hi, Fred!" Hassan looked up and asked "Do I know you?" "Well," said the chemist, "no, probably not, but I'm a medicinal chemist with Schering-Plough, and now Merck". Hassan smiled and said "Great, so how are you?" The response, in a loud voice, was "Well, I just got laid off!". He then walked on down to his seat in coach, and heard Hassan saying something about being sorry about that. And as he told me, he sat there in coach, smiling at the picture of Hassan thinking about this irate ex-employee on the plane with him for the next 2 and a half hours. . .

Comments (15) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


COMMENTS

1. anonymous on December 22, 2011 10:10 AM writes...

Hassan was probably jetting off to his weekend home in Boca....nice, but what a price tag!!!

Permalink to Comment

2. anchor on December 22, 2011 10:12 AM writes...


Derek: wish it was longer than 2.5h...more like non-stop 17h to Japan. This son of a gun, ruined many lives and may he rot in hell!

Permalink to Comment

3. Eric on December 22, 2011 10:36 AM writes...

Unfortunately, the episode probably didn't faze Hassan.

Permalink to Comment

4. exCHEM on December 22, 2011 10:57 AM writes...

Yep, I am sure he choked on his glass of bubbly.. it will end up being a joke amongst the board members. To be honest, he could really have made more use of the chance meeting..

Permalink to Comment

5. Nick K on December 22, 2011 11:01 AM writes...

Alas, apart from the momentary social embarrassment it will have been like water off a duck's back to Hassan. He's a sociopath, as is everyone at that level.

Permalink to Comment

6. milkshaken on December 22, 2011 11:14 AM writes...

He should have spilled tomato juice on his suit. Then with many apologies proceed to blot and smudge it out, to make sure Fred's shirt and Rolex gets some of it too.

Permalink to Comment

7. p on December 22, 2011 11:19 AM writes...

Should have told the attendant Fred was using his company as a front for terrorism.

Permalink to Comment

8. startup on December 22, 2011 11:21 AM writes...

"Merger, criminal scheme in which company executives and legal department fire workers to pocket and split their earnings."

Permalink to Comment

9. Chemjobber on December 22, 2011 11:40 AM writes...

EPIC. I'd like to buy that chemist a drink, maybe even two.

Permalink to Comment

10. Wile E. Coyote, Genius on December 22, 2011 1:07 PM writes...

That will teach him to not take the corporate jet and instead fly with all the rabble.

Permalink to Comment

11. RB Woodweird on December 22, 2011 2:44 PM writes...

I once spotted our CEO waiting in the terminal to get on a plane to Europe I happened to be also getting on. Luckily for him, I hadn't been laid off, otherwise a discrete phone call to airport security would have been in order.

Permalink to Comment

12. Aspirin on December 22, 2011 3:05 PM writes...

Your friend should have made a discreet phone call to the cockpit. For someone like Hassan, a slightly inconvenient session with US marshals and the FBI should only mildly dampen the pleasure of a slightly delayed trip to his Caribbean resort, yes?

Permalink to Comment

13. WB on December 22, 2011 8:28 PM writes...

"Sorry about that, but better you than me!"

Permalink to Comment

14. Anonymous on December 26, 2011 4:56 AM writes...

So, let me get this right. He sat there on the plane for two and a half hours; smiling, happy and jobless. He then childishly acted out on a plane to a man he never met that expressed sorrow for what happened.

Perhaps politely introducing oneself, acting like a mature adult and engaging in a conversation would have yielded something tangible: like a lead, job or letter. Then again, given the demeaner of the story... probably not.

AS for the rest of the comments

Permalink to Comment

15. DH on December 26, 2011 7:22 PM writes...

@Anonymous: Acting like a mature adult is *so* 20th century.

(Seriously, though, you make a good point. As the great Inigo Montoya once said, "There's not a lot of money in revenge.")

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
Molecular Printing of Drug Molecules. Say What?
Pfizer Walks Again By Night
Gitcher SF5 Groups Right Here
Changing A Broken Science System
One and Done
The Latest Protein-Protein Compounds
Professor Fukuyama's Solvent Peaks
Novartis Gets Out of RNAi