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Transforming a biotechnology company from startup to operational team

Working with the CEO and executive team, Vanguard developed a strategy and implementation plan for transforming the working culture and behaviors from what was required for a highly successful entrepreneurial startup, to an operational company working collaboratively with regulators and deploying a significant field force.


A major focus was on feedback from the frontline employees, who knew the environment the best. As a result, a regulatory team half the typical size achieved an early first-pass FDA approval, field force ramp-up was extremely rapid, and talent retention during the transition was nearly 100%.

As advisor to the CEO and top team, we supported the critical leadership and culture dimensions of the successful turnaround of a deeply troubled global company.


The project included assessing the cultural stress points and conflicts within the multinational organization and working with the CEO, executive team, and other leaders to develop a compelling sense of purpose for the organization, which became the foundation for all other turnaround activity, including an action agenda for change and a set of high-performance behaviors expected of the CEO through to the frontlines.


The turnaround based on these foundations was extremely successful and transformed the company within three years from one of the worst-performing companies in its peer group to one of the best-performing.

Executing a global turnaround

Advising an incoming CEO

With the arrival of a first-time CEO for a troubled global company, we took on the assignment of an advisory and sounding-board role.


This involved counsel and feedback on executive team dynamics, development of a strong first 300 days leadership and action plan, creation of a transformation strategy for the board, and wide-ranging internal and external leadership communications to build alignment and engagement around the transformation plan.


The result was a successful transformation from a downward performance spiral to an upward spiral, leading to acquisition at a very high premium.

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