Monthly Archives: December 2010

John Gapper

The pharmaceutical industry’s effort to find new ways of discovering and developing drugs has been underway for most of this decade, but it remains a struggle.

The latest sign is the replacement of Marc Cluzel as Sanofi-Aventis’s head of research by Eliaz Zerhouni, an adviser to the company’s chief executive, Chris Viehbacher. Read more

John Gapper

The more I read about the way that Google is giving prominence to its own information and shopping results in search queries, the more I think the European Union is correct to investigate.

Several of Google’s rivals in travel, shopping and health information, have been complaining to regulators that the world’s biggest search engine directs users to its own services rather than theirs. Read more

To travel on one of China’s high-speed trains as I did recently, is to experience China’s rapid industrial advance. We cruised from Nanjing to Shanghai at speeds of which Amtrak’s service from New York to Washington can only dream.

John Gapper

The entry of Shanghai at number one on the global league table of school students’ results is, as one expert put it in the New York Times, a “stunning” achievement. To anyone who has visited an elite Chinese school, however, it is not surprising.

Fifteen-year-olds in Shanghai, where education standards are probably among the highest in China, topped the OECD’s Pisa global standardised tests. Meanwhile, countries such as the UK and the US have slipped down , pushed down by the chart-toppers South Korea, Finland, Canada and New Zealand. Read more

John Gapper

Jeffrey Kindler deserves points for honesty in declaring that he is departing  as chairman and chief executive of Pfizer because he is exhausted after four and a half years in the job.

It is an improvement on the usual euphemism of departing chief executives who have failed to deliver what they promised – that they want to spend more time with their families. In this case, Mr Kindler is admitting that he needs to spend more time at home. Read more

John Gapper

Felix Salmon has a long post about the economics of Gawker Media and why Nick Denton has declared that he’s “out of blogs” and is refashioning his properties to focus on video – and video advertising.

The notable point, covered here before, is the inexorable logic of the fall in the rates advertisers will pay for traditional display ads on the web (measured in cost per thousand clicks or CPMs) Read more

Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch are entrepreneurs with an admirable record of ignoring conventional wisdom, so it is worth watching when they do the same thing at once.