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Barbarians in the Boardroom by Owen Walker

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5

Allergan and the unorthodox alliance

Culture clash

One of the most acrimonious and unconventional activist campaigns of recent years began with a genial enough conversation between two pharmaceutical executives. In September 2012, Michael Pearson, CEO and chairman of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, came to David Pyott, his counterpart at Allergan, with an offer.

While the two men had known each other for several years, they were very different characters. Pyott, a London-born son of Scottish parents, was known in the healthcare industry as being mild-mannered and thoughtful. He had lived in India as a child and would pepper his conversation with historic references and analogies. Pyott had joined Allergan in 1998 and overseen the company’s growth ...

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