Editor's Pick: Originally Published Tuesday, Dec. 22.
The votes for Best and Worst Biopharma CEO of 2015 are counted (or discounted, as you'll soon see) and the winners are:
Brent Saunders of Allergan (AGN) is 2015's Best Biopharma CEO. Congratulations, Brent!
In the more fun category, Valeant Pharmaceuticals' (VRX) Michael Pearson is the runaway winner (loser?) for Worst Biopharma CEO of 2015. Sorry, Michael, but you truly deserve it.
Saunders is the hottest executive in the biopharmaceutical industry today. Purists might furrow their brows over his aversion to basic drug discovery and research, but no one else comes close to matching his deal-making skills.
If the $160 billion merger between Allergan and Pfizer (PFE) closes next year, Saunders will lose his job to become president and chief operating officer of the combined drug giant. We all know that's just temporary. There's little doubt he'll ascend to the CEO chair in due time.
Saunders' selection as Best Biopharma CEO of 2015 is not without some controversy. He actually placed second in the readers' poll with 28% of the 5,844 votes cast.
The group of seven CEOs who sold their companies for a combined $48 billion this year actually won the readers' poll with 45% of the votes. However, I strongly suspect fans of one of these CEOs -- Pharmacyclics' Bob Duggan -- stuffed the ballot box.
Tampering violates the spirit of the voting so it's my prerogative as custodian of the Best and Worst Biopharma CEO Awards to nullify those votes.
My apologies to the other, deserving "deal-making" CEOs in that group who lose out because of one bad actor.
Bad corporate behavior at Valeant Pharmaceuticals helped Pearson achieve notoriety and the runaway selection as Worst Biopharma CEO of 2015. Pearson received 52% of th 1,735 votes cast.
Just a friendly heads-up to Pearson on how to react to this public shaming: The Worst Biopharma CEO of 2014 was Martin Shkreli! We all know what just happened to him, so perhaps Pearson will be motivated to rehabilitate his image in 2016.Finishing second and third in this year's Worst voting were Insys Therapeutics' Mike Babich and Clovis Oncology's Pat Mahaffy. You guys are lucky Valeant stole the spotlight.