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Resilience at InterMune: A Journey Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Bahrami, Homa
Publication date: 6/10/2015, pages 1-29

This case study is about a California-based biotechnology company that has experienced many ups and downs throughout its 17-year history. Despite many setbacks, it ultimately succeeded in developing and getting approval for an orphan drug used to treat IPF, a deadly lung disease. InterMune was acquired by Roche/Genentech for $8.3 billion in September 2014; the price represented a significant premium over InterMune’s trading price at the time. The protagonist, InterMune’s CEO, Dan Welch, joined the company in 2003 and has led InterMune through numerous strategic pivots, leadership changes, clinical trial disappointments, multiple divestitures, and ultimately the sale of the company. Resilience and the capacity to bounce back are at the core of this case study. The narrative focuses on strategic, cultural, and leadership changes and decisions made by Welch, the Board and the leadership team throughout Welch’s tenure. Specifically, Welch sharpened InterMune’s strategic focus on a few indications, evolved the Board and the leadership team, and orchestrated a grassroots initiative to re-invent InterMune’s core values and cultural pillars.
 


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