Genzyme CEO Defends Tenure as Icahn Lurks
SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- Embattled Genzyme (GENZ) CEO Henri Termeer told a packed room of investors Tuesday that he accepted responsibility for the manufacturing problems that have crippled the biotech firm this year. But he also insisted that he's the best man to lead the company's recovery.
"I accept with great humility that these manufacturing interruptions have happened under my watch," said Termeer, in response to my question about why he should remain the company's chief executive.
|Genzyme's CEO Henri Termeer|
But investors I spoke with remain unconvinced that Termeer can get the job done, which may be why Genzyme's stock price seems to move higher only when the talk turns to speculation about proxy fights and management housecleaning.
Towards that end, one investor in the breakout session asked Termeer if Genzyme has had any contact with billionaire hedge fund manager and activist shareholder Carl Icahn."We've had no discussions with Mr. Icahn," replied Termeer. "No contact." Icahn owns 1.5 million Genzyme shares as of the third quarter and speculation is building that he's buying more stock to prepare for a proxy fight. Alex Denner, Icahn's biotech lieutenant, was spotted in the room during Termeer's talk but had nothing to say publicly. (More than a few people turned to glance at Denner after Termeer responded to the Icahn question, as if expecting him to stand up and counterpunch.)
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV