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Rebuilt From the Ground Up: A Lesson in Turning a Failed Company Around

When a new CEO steps into a leadership role, chances are they aren’t inheriting a perfect situation. More often than not, there are challenges that went unresolved that the company is looking to the new CEO to fix.

7. Went global through outsourcing. In just 15 months, NPS expanded globally and now has 215 employees in 30 countries. Outside experts are now relied on for all non-core activities, including drug discovery and R&D, while core competencies remain in-house, including late-stage clinical development, regulatory, commercialization and compliance.

“My motto is to be successful by being different exceedingly well.”

“My motto is to be successful by being different exceedingly well,” Nader says. “We have an absolutely crystal clear mission and vision for where we’re headed and we make sure every employee understands it. We hire people who share the same values as the company.” Turnover at the company is about 4%, compared to the industry average in pharma of 10%-15%.

Excellence, Nader says, is not negotiable. “Our goal is to execute with zero margin for error. We make mistakes, everyone does. But when we identify a mistake, we correct it immediately and proactively.”

Nader offers the following advice to others who are attempting a turnaround: “Start with a blank sheet of paper. If you don’t, then you start with the past, and it’s very difficult to build the future when you have the past in the way. And be true to your values, that’s not negotiable. With that, the sky’s the limit.”

Dr. Nader is CEO of NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. He received the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 National Life Sciences award.


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