At the J.P. Morgan conference yesterday, Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer (photo) took responsibility for the company's manufacturing missteps over the past year, but assured attendees that he's still the best person to lead the company out of these tough times. "I accept with great humility that these manufacturing interruptions have happened under my watch," noted Termeer. In his talk he outlined the steps Genzyme is taking to recover from the manufacturing problems that led to a shortage of its products, lower-than-expected earnings, and a steep drop in stock price (GENZ).
Many analysts, however, think Termeer's tenure should come to an end--a sentiment that may be shared by Carl Icahn. It was reported last week that the billionaire activist investor purchased 1.5 million shares of Genzyme in the third quarter, and that Icahn may be launching a proxy fight for control of the company.
Icahn didn't attend J.P. Morgan in person, but he was there in spirit. Alex Denner, who represents Icahn's biotech investments, was present for Genzyme's session, though he didn't speak publicly about Icahn's plans for the biotech. When asked if Genzyme had spoken with Icahn, Termeer said that the company has had "no discussions with Mr. Icahn. No contact."
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