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Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Ethics, Pharma

Gonzalez’s Misstated Degrees Date to 1998

Gonzalez’s Misstated Degrees Date to 1998

The bogus academic credentials of Richard A. Gonzalez, the CEO-to-be of the Abbott spinoff, AbbVie, were “misstated” as far back as 1998.

In Abbott’s announcement of executive promotions via PRNewsire, dated February 13, 1998, Gonzalez was promoted from vice president of Abbott HealthSystems division to senior vice president of the company’s hospital products division. His background was provided:

“He has been with the company for 20 years, and also has held several management positions in the United States and Canada for the diagnostics division. Gonzalez holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Miami.”

In a January/February 2005 issue of Hispanic Business, however, Gonzalez’s background is more vaguely (but still disingenuously) worded.

“Prior to joining Abbott, Mr. Gonzalez was a biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine.”

(A more accurate description would have described him as a second semester sophomore, it appears.)

Then on April 2, 2006, the Chicago Tribune published a relatively flattering profile of Gonzalez, for which he curiously declined to be interviewed. Bruce Jaspen wrote, “Abbott’s public affairs team said he has been immersed in meetings and focusing on his new responsibilities [overseeing Abbott’s pharmaceutical business] and the additional business he oversees.”

The writeup also stated that the “52-year-old Abbott veteran has survived a battle with throat cancer, and the company says he has been successfully treated.” This statement implies that Gonzalez did not leave Abbott in 2007 “to battle throat cancer,” as others have written (unless he had a recurrence of disease).

Gonzalez’s erroneous academic background was also repeated by Jaspen. Gonzalez’s education is listed as a “Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Miami.”

I’d find it astonishing that Gonzalez (even if he declined to be interviewed by Jaspen) did not read the 2006 profile of himself in the Tribune.

bmartin (80 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.