Careers at Abbott
Abbott Laboratories’ (“Abbott”) mission is fulfilling the promise of human potential, in all places, in all aspects and stages of life, through helping people achieve their best health at every life stage.
This is done by advancing leading-edge science and technologies, valuing diversity, focusing on exceptional performance, earning the trust of consumers, and sustaining success.
Abbott has four main business segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products, and Vascular Products.
- Established Pharmaceutical Products – These are branded generic pharmaceuticals, including gastroenterology products, women’s health products, cardiovascular and metabolic products, pain and central nervous system products, and respiratory drugs and vaccines. These products are manufactured around the globe and are sold generally outside the US. This segment takes up 18% of sales.
- Diagnostic Products – These are diagnostic systems and tests, including immunoassay and clinical chemistry systems, point-of-care diagnostic systems and cartridges for blood analysis, DNA and RNA extraction and processing instruments, genomic-based tests, informatics and automation solutions for laboratories, rapid pathogen identifying instruments, and hematology systems and reagents. These are produced, marketed, and sold worldwide. This segment takes up 23% of sales.
- Nutritional Products – These include products both for infants and adults, including infant formula, enteral feeding products, and adult and other pediatric nutritional products. These are sold worldwide. This is its largest segment, taking up 34% of sales. It also takes up a significant proportion of global market share, with Abbott representing over 50% of global Adult Nutrition sales.
- Vascular Products – There are a range of devices used for the heart and the vascular system in general, including various stents, vascular scaffolds, coronary balloons, coronary guidewires, mitral valve repair systems, and vessel closure devices. These are sold worldwide.
Aside from the above segments, Abbott also produces other products, including blood glucose, and flash glucose monitoring systems for diabetes management, and medical devices for the eye including cataract and LASIK surgery and contact lenses.
These products, together with the Vascular Products segment, are referred to as the “Medical Devices” segment and collectively take up 25% of Abbott’s sales.
Abbott was started by Dr Wallace C. Abbott, a practicing physician. Dr. Abbott began producing alkaloid medicine in 1888 in the rear of his drug store in Chicago. He incorporated the Abbott Alkaloidal Company, a medical publisher and manufacturer, in 1894. The company expanded outside the US in 1907, adding an affiliate in London. It produced its first synthetic medicine, Chlorazine, for use in the First World War as an antiseptic.
Abbott had its initial public offering in 1929, at the onset of the Great Depression. Despite the unfortunate timing of the IPO, Abbott continued to expand over the following decades through entering new businesses such as vitamins and intravenous solutions.
It developed Pentothal, the world’s most widely used anesthetic, in 1935. With the onset of the Second World War, Abbott was requested by the US Government to join a consortium of pharmaceutical manufacturers to support wartime efforts through the production of penicillin.
The late 1900s saw a revamping of the Abbott brand, with its iconic ‘A’ logo being adopted in 1959. Its 1964 acquisition of M&R Dietetics made Abbott a world leader in nutrition, its largest business segment by sales at present. The introduction of a blood analyser and a radioimmunoassay test for detecting hepatitis in 1972 saw the entry of Abbott into the medical diagnostics business, another key business segment at present.
Another key achievement is the introduction of the first licensed test to identify serum HIV – a significant stepping stone in the fight against the disease.
The 2000s saw a series of significant acquisitions and expansions, including the opening of an R&D facility at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2009. Abbott also acquired Kos Pharmaceuticals for USD3.7 Billion in cash in 2007, Knoll, BASF’s pharmaceutical division, in 2001, the pharmaceuticals unit of Solvay in a deal worth USD6.2 Billion in 2010, and CFR, a Chilean generic drugs manufacturer, in a deal worth USD2.9 Billion that would see Abbott doubling its generic drug portfolio.
Abbott has also agreed to acquire Veropharm, a Russian drug manufacturer. Abbott has also divested a significant number of its businesses over the same period, with the most major change being a splitting of the company in 2011 – one half, its research-based pharmaceutical arm, being renamed AbbVie.
Benefits at Abbott
Business model of Abbott
Abbott sells directly or through third party wholesalers, retailers, and distributors to retail consumers and institutions, including government agencies, health care facilities, pharmacies, blood banks, hospitals, commercial laboratories, clinics, and others – depending on the business segment. Its sales are evenly split between developed, mostly in the US and Western Europe, and developing markets.
That said, sales in developing markets are growing at a rapid rate – 17.1 percent in 2015 and 12.5 percent in 2014.
- Established Pharmaceutical Products – These are sold generally outside the US directly to wholesalers, distributors, government agencies, health care facilities, pharmacies, and independent retailers.
- Diagnostic Products – These are sold worldwide directly to blood banks, hospitals, commercial laboratories, clinics, physicians' offices, government agencies, alternate care testing sites, and plasma protein therapeutic companies.
- Nutritional Products – These are sold worldwide directly to consumers and to institutions, wholesalers, retailers, health care facilities, government agencies, and third-party distributors.
- Vascular Products – These are sold worldwide, directly to hospitals in the US and directly to customers and third-party distributors outside the US.
Abbott has three main value propositions – its commercial presence, leading-edge innovation, and its brand.
- Commercial presence – Abbott sells its products all over the world, in over 150 countries and is a leading company in many key markets including India and Latin America.
- Leading-edge Innovation – Abbott invests heavily in research and development, and many of its products are not available from other companies – this ties customers who require its products to Abbott.
- Brand – Abbott is an established brand with over 125 years of history. It was recently awarded the Most Admired Company in the pharmaceutical industry in Fortune magazine’s annual rankings.
Abbott uses a multi-channel approach, with channels depending on the region or country of operation and the type of product being sold. Abbott has almost half of its sales directly to consumers, through its Abbott-owned distribution centers, public warehouses, or third-party affiliates and distributors.
Abbott maintains customer relationships though it’s in-house sales teams, through its country offices, and through 24/7 live online customer support – the latter provides customers with immediate self-help access to important information such as orders, product information, guide literature, and product support.
Abbott's key activity is the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of a broad and diversified line of health care products.
Abbott’s key partners are its suppliers and its licensees.
Its suppliers are other corporates that produce and supply various products used in the manufacturing of Abbott products, in research and development, and for general operations. Products purchased range from physical goods, such as biological products and food, to services, such as transport and logistics.
Abbott’s licensees are also key partners as they allow Abbott to enter new markets and to reach regions that would have otherwise been difficult to service through proprietary means.
Abbott’s key resources would be its property, plant and equipment, its goodwill, and other intangible assets including patents and other intellectual property, product rights, and technology.
Abbott’s key cost drivers are price rebates, research and development costs and selling, general and administrative expenses.
Abbott’s key revenue streams come from its main segments - Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products, and Vascular Products. Of these, the nutritional products segment is the largest, covering over half of Abbott’s annual revenue.
|Source of Revenue/Cost||Revenue (FY 2015, million euros)||% of Total Revenue|
Other (Including items from all business segments)
Cost of products sold, excluding amortization
Research and development
Selling, general and administrative
*Note that “Other” revenues include products from all the four main business segments. These products are individually insignificant and were thus not itemized in Abbott’s reported financials.
info: Miles holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Stanford. He started his career as a consultant with McKinsey, joining Abbott thereafter in 1984. He became a director in April 1998 and was named CEO in the same year, and named Chairman in the following year.
info: Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Toledo. He started his career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen, moving to Scotts Company as a senior analyst. He joined Abbott in 1997, and led Abbott’s Investor Relations in 2013. He was named CFO in June 2015.
info: Hubert holds a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in Politics from Princeton University and a JD from Yale. Prior to joining Abbott in 2006, he was an Assistant General Counsel in McKesson Corporation. He joined Abbott as Senior Counsel in the Pharmaceutical Products Division. He was named General Counsel in January 2013.
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