Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Eli Lilly Super-Sizes Its Board


Yes, McDonald's has done away with "Super-Size" menu items, but I can still use the American lexicon for, hopefully, an attention-grabbing blog headline.

A drug company that specializes in fighting diabetes is putting a top-level executive from a company some might argue contributes to the epidemic on its Board of Directors. Eli Lilly just announced that the Chief Operating Officer and a Director of McDonald's, Ralph Alvarez, is joining the LLY Board. Before working at MickeyD's, Alvarez was at Burger King and Wendy's. As soon as the press release popped into my inbox, I rushed to write this blog post.

In the press release, LLY Chairman and CEO John Lechleiter is quoted as saying, "I am very pleased to welcome Ralph Alvarez to the Lilly board. Ralph has demonstrated strong leadership at McDonald's while overseeing a diverse, global organization. With over 30 years of exceptional service in the food service retailer industry, Ralph truly understands and appreciates the value of building a successful, global customer-focused enterprise. His experience and insights will surely benefit Lilly shareholders as we continue to transform our company and deliver on our mission to provide improved outcomes for individual patients."

I can just see the McDonald's promotions: With every Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and large, sugary soda (also known as pop in some parts of the country), get a coupon for a free sample of Lilly insulin or Byetta (the diabetes drug LLY shares with Amylin Pharmaceuticals.)

Talk about synergy. This one takes the cake, er, McNuggets.

Questions?  Comments?