Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2013 (Revised October 2014)

Novartis: Leading a Global Enterprise

by William W. George, Krishna G. Palepu and Carin-Isabel Knoop


Novartis, the world's leading healthcare company, was formed in 1996 out of a merger of two very different, mid-tier Switzerland-based pharma companies. The case traces the company's evolution over the past 17 years, as it transformed into a truly global enterprise with 127,000 employees of 153 nationalities in 140 countries generating $56.7 billion in 2012 revenues and $9.6 billion in net income, making the firm one of the world's largest and most profitable companies. CEO since 2010, Joe Jimenez had taken over from one of the merger's architects and visionary legacy CEO Daniel Vasella. He recognized that the global health care environment would create severe challenges for Novartis in the years ahead and that Novartis needed to make sure it had the right strategy, structure, talent and spirit to live up to its ambitions.

Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Talent and Talent Management; Organizational Structure; Organizational Culture; Success; Globalized Markets and Industries; Management Teams; Change Management; Business History; Mergers and Acquisitions; Global Strategy; Health Care and Treatment; Pharmaceutical Industry; Health Industry; Switzerland;


George, William W., Krishna G. Palepu, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Novartis: Leading a Global Enterprise." Harvard Business School Case 413-096, May 2013. (Revised October 2014.)