Where do pharma CEOs go when they've said goodbye? Apparently, they join a private equity firm. Former Schering-Plough chief Fred Hassan (photo) has enlisted at Warburg Pincus as a senior advisor, following in the footsteps of ex-Sanofi-Aventis chief Jean-Pierre Garnier, who hooked up with Dubai International Capital when he left the drugmaker. (He's since signed on as CEO of Pierre Fabre, a French pharma and cosmetics company, but that's another story.)
Hassan was left jobless after his company merged with Merck to form the second-largest drugmaker in the world. Now, he'll be advising Warburg Pincus' healthcare group and offering "strategic" advice to the rest of the firm. "I'm seen as a generalist," he told Dow Jones on the sidelines of a biotech conference in Philadelphia. Indeed, Hassan has been tapped to serve on the boards of a diverse trio of companies--most recently Bausch & Lomb. Before that, he accepted a director's chair at Time Warner. And as Dow Jones notes, he's still on the Avon Products board as well.
But at the recent Reuters healthcare confab, Hassan made it pretty clear that he's looking at jumping back into the pharma biz when the right opportunity comes along. Until then, he can dispense his advice, collect his paychecks, and figure out how to invest the hefty golden parachute he took with him from Schering: $31 million in cash and pension benefits, plus tens of millions more in stock-vesting and other equity awards. Not bad.