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Abbott Laboratories Message Board

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  • sellhi_2000 sellhi_2000 Nov 5, 1999 9:01 AM Flag

    Reply to sellhi_2000

    As a long time employee, I agree with what you've
    said. Obviously, climbing the corporate ladder anywhere
    requires a great deal of politicking. I've been with
    Abbott for so long, I have no basis to compare Abbott's
    politics with any others'. But, I will say this. If one
    doesn't tow the company line, or "know" the right people
    in Abbott, one doesn't get ahead. I resigned myself
    to that reality several years ago. Abbott sets
    criteria for moving ahead in the company
    retroactively--that is, after they've selected who they really want.
    By saying this, I know I risk being regarded by
    other posters as an employee with a grudge, one on the
    "slow track", as one put it. Actually, I'm quite at
    peace with myself, keeping my eye open for other
    opportunities, but also taking advantage of forums such as this
    to influence organizational change as much as I can.
    I appreciate your candor.

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    • Does your position at ABT involve arguing with
      co-workers over who gets to use the good broom?

      company writes position descriptions around who they want
      to hire or promote. That's life. Quit bellyaching
      and sweep faster.

    • Both strings of your comments are appreciated by
      this passive long. I've had the same experience with
      two major corporations in the past - am now in a
      small company with large gain share and make a lot more
      $$$ and can see a direct relationship between
      competent input and financial output. Best to both of

      I know several people inside ABT and everything
      they say is consistent with your stories. In fact,
      many years ago, I knew a low level employee in the
      financial control area (no longer there) that got to see up
      close how Burnham got to the top by back-channeling his
      boss's actions to the Board - R. Schoellhorn (who was a
      real piece of work anyway from what I heard in spite
      of crafting a very solid corporate strategy for ABT
      in the 70s-80s). ABT had a lot of trouble
      then...i.e, paltry pipeline, cut R&D, etc., etc.. The same
      stuff as today.

      But it succeeded. And the reason
      is why I stay long in the DRIP. Because ABT can
      succeed in spite of itself as few companies can. ABT's
      return on invested capital is simply superb and can
      carry a lot of fat (and mistakes) and still throw off a
      fine, risk-adjusted ROI. It's "fusion" culture is bound
      to be extremely political with a lot of
      interpersonal animosity - but the overall ship still sails and
      the process generally works. And will despite the
      "diversity" crap...the company needs competent people, not
      "station fillers" and senior management, when push comes
      to shove, definitely knows this - even if it's not
      directly shown in their behavior.

      Nevertheless, the
      FDA fine is a totally unacceptable "inauguration" of
      M. White because of his direct involvement in its
      cause. If he blows a couple of First Call forecasts and
      consistently damages the upside of the stock, the board will
      eventually move against him anyway or force a takeover. So
      I'm staying long and will continue to buy after a
      moderate sale to adjust my portfolio against the increased

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