Research and Development Re-organization


A large parenteral products division of a major global pharmaceutical company was concerned that current R&D efforts were not delivering the growth potential that was needed to meet corporate goals. Division General Management was concerned that their R&D organization had become calcified and was not working on programs that were going to bring the division to the next level of success. They believed that the R&D organizational structure was a significant contributor to the problem and needed to be reshaped, and in certain instances, repopulated.


BDF assessed the programs that were in various stages of development and determined which of these programs were being prioritized and the rationale for that prioritization. It quickly became clear that management had been correct and that the programs seemed designed to “not lose” rather than to drive the division into leadership in the future of the product area that was their focus. In addition, the R&D organization was structured across several geographies with R&D efforts mostly led from an overseas R&D center even though the business was primarily US centric.

BDF recommended reorganizing the R&D organization and relocating it to a US base of leadership to bring it closer to the customers as well as to allow for greater interaction between the R&D groups and division management, marketing teams and business development efforts. In addition, BDF developed an organizational structure that reduced management layers along with job descriptions for each level of management that would remain in the R&D organization. With the announcement of the changes, the existing R&D head resigned his position and BDF assisted in working with executive recruiters to bring on a new R&D head from outside the company to lead the change. General Management of the division approved the recommendations and the transition was initiated following the BDF recommendations.

Since the reorganization, this division has shown accelerated growth and has begun to pull away from their competition. New products have been a significant driver of growth and the company has begun to make further investments in the division including acquisitions that align with the strategic direction for growth through innovation.