Abbott's Exec Gets Pass on Padded Resume

Amidst a minor scandal surrounding the resume of one of Abbott Laboratories' executives, the health care company received a little good news as the FDA expanded the use of Humira.

Amidst a minor scandal surrounding the resume of one of Abbott Laboratories’ executives, the health care company received a little good news as the FDA expanded the use of Humira.

Richard Gonzalez, head of global pharmaceuticals, is slated to be the chief executive officer of Abbott’s pending pharmaceutical spinoff, AbbVie; however, Crain’s Chicago Business uncovered that the company hadn’t been entirely forthcoming about Gonzalez’s education.

From 2002 to 2007 company regulatory filings said Gonzalez had a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Miami and a master’s in biochemistry from the University of Houston. Now Abbott’s site only says that Gonzalez attended those schools, and when Crain’s reported it, the pharmaceutical company confirmed that Gonzalez did not complete his college education or receive or college degree.

Abbott’s stock started dropping toward the end of the day on Thursday and opened Friday by falling 0.23%. By 3 p.m. on Friday the stock was down 1% to $68.62.

It seems like analysts expect Gonzalez’s padded resume won’t really hurt Abbott since he has more than 30 years at the company, Reuters reported. Abbott is claiming that the incorrect information was an administrative error that just hadn’t been caught by anyone, including Gonzalez, during the years he has been there.

"I really think it's a non-event, given his long history and successful leadership at the firm,” Jeff Jonas, a portfolio manager for Gabelli Health and Wellness Trust Mutual Funds, which holds Abbott shares, said to Reuters.

Seeing how little the stock dropped after the news hit, it does seem that investors are uninterested considering Gonzalez’s experience.

Possibly also helping to temper the bomb was the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration had approved Abbott’s rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira, for ulcerative colitis. Humira can be used in adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis after immunosuppressant medicines have proved ineffective.

Humira is Abbott’s biggest drug, additionally approved for use for psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, plaque psoriasis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Read more:

Investors Likely to Overlook Abbott Executive’s Padded Resume — Reuters

FDA Approves Abbott’s Humira for Ulcerative Colitis - Reuters