Prescription for a Turnaround

A new boss gets Cardinal Health refocused on the supply chain

Cardinal Health's glove manufacturing facilities. In addition to distributing medical suppliers, Cardinal Health is also a leading manufacturer of medical products, including gloves, gowns, drapes, surgical kits and fluid management products.

When George Barrett was named CEO of Cardinal Health in August, the prognosis was grim. The nation's second largest drug distributor, Cardinal had lost a third of its value the previous year. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had suspended several of the company's licenses. What's more, the firm, based in Dublin, Ohio, was about to spin off its lucrative medical-tech arm, CareFusion, sparking a further double-digit drop in its stock price. In other words, Barrett deadpans, "we had some challenges."

Indeed. Yet six months later, Barrett is being hailed as the leader Cardinal needed to restore its vigor. It came...

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