Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Amgen's Visit From The "Tooth Fairy" (By Way Of Root Canal?)

A visit from the fairy

There's no money left under the pillow, but Amgen execs and directors have been handed a gift. One of the most outspoken, large, individual investors in the biotech company who's been calling for the Board and CEO to go won't be attending its annual shareholder meeting after all.

I'm outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, CA, where the get-together takes place this afternoon. Reporters will be allowed inside to take notes, but we can't use any recording equipment--i.e. a TV camera.

Anyway, Steve Silverman who has owned AMGN shares for about two decades and has gotten "very rich" off the investment, was the self-appointed ringleader of a shareholder protest of sorts.

On message boards, in chat rooms and in the media Mr. Silverman was trying to spearhead a campaign to oust Chairman and CEO Kevin Sharer and the Board of Directors. The 70-year-old retired insurance man admits it was a long shot.

He's upset over the stock's decline and what he sees as a series of management missteps. Amgen defends Sharer saying the company has grown "dramatically" on his watch.


Yesterday afternoon Mr. Silverman sent me an email saying he won't be speaking out at the meeting after all. He explains he has a toothache that requires emergency root canal today.

He added that he spoke to Sharer on the phone yesterday for almost 90 minutes and concluded, "He is interesting but definitely has his views and positions on the company. I still would not vote for him."

An Amgen spokesman confirms the phone call took place, but says that it didn't last quite as long.

Earful for Amgen's CEO

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