I have been following the Tylenol story for some time now, with increasing amazement.
How could a company that once wrote the book on crisis management fail at it so completely? By management design, writes Inder Sidhu of Cisco.
The company has a deliberately decentralized management structure, so when CEO William Weldon pulls his Sgt. Schultz routine he may be telling the honest truth. (Picture from Wikipedia.)
When I called Tylenol's owner, McNeil Labs, the next BP a few months ago I got no pushback -- readers here get exercised when I criticize corn syrup.
What began last year with a few recalls has now mushroomed:
All this is drowning out the good news. Warren Buffett has doubled his holding in the stock. The company recently sold $1.1 billion in bonds at good rates. A University of Florida study shows acetaminophen may be good for hurt feelings.
Tylenol is not a new drug. It has been around since the year I was born. Its history goes back almost as far as that of aspirin, which was first produced commercially in 1897.
If all this can happen to Tylenol, in other words, no drug is safe. That's your take-away.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com