George Scangos

CAMBRIDGE, MA - APRIL 15: George A. Scangos, Ph.D., CEO of BIOGEN IDEC, is photographed at the company's Cambridge, Mass. headquarters on April 15, 2014. (Photo by Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GEORGE SCANGOS, PH.D., CEO OF BIOGEN ALIX COLOW. PICK UP. Photo by Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)Photograph by Essdras M Suarez — The Boston Globe via Getty Images
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Since joining Biogen as CEO in 2010, Scangos has taken a highly profitable company, more than doubled its revenue, and more than tripled its earnings. And he has done so while upping the R&D budget 52% between 2010 and 2014. Today, Biogen seems afflicted with the curse of high expectations. Investors are apparently disappointed with projected sales and earnings growth of, respectively, 9% and 19% this year. In part because of that, Biogen wasn’t immune to this year’s plague in biotech stocks (worsened by lower-than-expected demand for its multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera). Scangos’s remedy: He’s bolstering marketing and narrowing focus to a few research areas, while cutting 11% of Biogen’s workforce. Will that cure the ailing stock price? Perhaps not. But if profit growth of 19% is considered anemic, most CEOs would happily accept the condition.