Embattled Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Peter Dolan and (gasp) his company’s general counsel Richard Willard were terminated today based on the recommendation of retired Federal Judge Frederick B. Lacey who is monitoring the company’s compliance with its deferred prosecution agreement with the federal government. Mr. Dolan was under shareholder fire for his mishandling of the Plavix patent dispute discussed in the Drug Wars Updates, among other issues. The Wall Street Journal notes that Mr. Dolan is the third major U.S. drug company CEO to be shown the door in the past 16 months.
Merck & Co., Whitehouse Station, N.J., last year pushed then-CEO Raymond Gilmartin into early retirement after withdrawing the painkiller Vioxx from the market in 2004. Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drug maker, ousted Henry McKinnell in late July, replacing him with a former lawyer. As at Bristol-Myers, the stocks of both companies have been battered in the past two years.