MannKind Elder Abuse Is Replacing Inept CEO With Founder

Finally, there's been a development in the MannKind (MNKD) saga which bulls and bears agree is for the best: Chief Executive Officer Hakan Edstrom resigned.

Edstrom was a terribly ineffective CEO. Even handcuffed with the deeply flawed Afrezza inhaled insulin device, Edstrom still came across as a guy with no imagination. Never once did he articulate a viable strategy for lifting MannKind out of its doldrums.

And so, Edstrom is gone.

His replacement: Al Mann, the company's founder. Mann is 90. Granted, Mann is only taking the CEO job on an interim basis, but that doesn't diminish how desperate this executive transition makes MannKind look.

It's almost cruel to see Mann being forced back into the CEO role at MannKind, but the company's near-total collapse demands it.

The Afrezza commercial launch has been terrible, and it's not getting any better. MannKind's marketing partner, Sanofi (SNY) , is signaling to everyone that it has run out of patience and is nearing a decision to exit. MannKind's balance sheet remains in poor shape even with the recent, small infusion of new money. The window of opportunity to develop the Technosphere technology underlying Afrezza into new products has closed.

Mann will be more entertaining than Edstrom on investor conference calls, but he won't be any more effective.

MannKind, like its founder, is in its twilight.

 

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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