Sandoz Yakuhin K.K.

The Sandoz Group has a strong position in Japan with some 2,000 Japanese employees. Sandoz Yakuhin K.K. has some 1,000 employees, and formally established in 1960, it is certainly one of the leading foreign capitalized pharmaceutical companies in Japan.

We had no problems and did not even particularly anticipate the discovery of any problems when we asked Mr. Nevins to nonetheless review our situation, and give us a report. Fundamentally, we came out of his check-up with a clean bill of health, but just as a company should never rest on its laurels and should insure that quality improvements and product differentiation are constantly taking place, we were sufficiently impressed and convinced by Mr. Nevins’ discoveries and recommendations that we took it upon ourselves to revise certain policies and sections of our Rules of Employment language.

Mr. Thomas Nevins worked closely with our Japanese officers in charge of personnel and compensation, and was flexible in reflecting their ideas and compromise language into TMT’s recommendations. Along with our Japanese personnel officers, Mr. Nevins completed his input in the exercise by making two presentations in both Japanese and English before our Board of Directors.

At the end of the exercise it was clear to us that there are always better ways to do almost anything. Many companies must be assuming that they are implementing the best of standard Japanese policies, sometimes combined with variations influenced by the foreign capitalized parent. Mr. Nevins has a way of taking one step back and divorcing himself from both typical Japanese and Western practice. After objective analysis, he has learned to integrate concepts and develop alternative innovative approaches that make even better sense and are more strategically sound, and meet the realities and needs peculiar to a foreign capitalized firm in Japan that is growing fast and has had to do some mid-career hiring over the years with a resultant blend and mix of different corporate cultures.

Fridolin H. Leuzinger
Sandoz Yakuhin K.K.
July, 1989