Struggling to right course after a string of manufacturing and regulatory snafus, Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer has evidently won the support of a key investor. Relational Investors, which holds a four percent stake in the company and has been critical of the company during a stretch of unprecedented woes, says it will support the biotech's board picks later this year. And Genzyme (GENZ) has agreed to hand one of those board nominations to Relational's Ralph Whitworth.
"While these are difficult and challenging times for Genzyme, we are confident its management is making significant improvements to drive short- and long-term value for shareholders," said Whitworth, in a statement. "The management and board remain open to ideas and are materially improving their manufacturing operation, compensation program, capital allocation discipline, and board composition."
Adam Feuerstein at TheStreet calls the "mutual cooperation agreement" a sign that the investor is satisfied with Termeer's plans to correct course at Genzyme, which has been held in an uncomfortable spotlight after regulators found a key manufacturing facility was contaminated and had to be shut down for an overhaul. Feuerstein also quotes a source close to the company as saying that the longtime CEO, who has rejected calls for his resignation, may step aside after the problems are fixed.
- take a look at Genzyme's release
- here's the report from TheStreet