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What leaders need
Leaders from across the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry discuss the experiences
and characteristics they possess that have helped them succeed in a challenging business.
By Med Ad News staff with Tig Conger, partner, and Kevin Butler, managing partner, Heritage
The leaders Mr. Conger and advanced degrees in the natural
ly develop their lead- Mr. Butler spoke with represent sciences. One third of the indi-ership skills to take on three different types of organiza- viduals Mr. Conger and Mr. But-the increasingly com- tions within the industry: ther-plex challenges of the apeutic business heads within
pharmaceutical industry. Work- a large pharmaceutical or bio-
ing with Med Ad News
, Tig Con- technology organization; special-
ger and Kevin Butler of the ex- ty pharmaceutical heads of pub-ecutive search firm Heritage licly traded companies; and the Partners International spoke heads of U.S. or North America
with 10 leaders across the phar- operations for big pharmaceuti-
Butler is managing partner of Heritage Partners International,
maceutical and biotechnology cal companies.
ties needed to succeed. They also complexity is rapidly increasing
learned how the requisite experi- everywhere, whether in a start-
ences and characteristics of lead- up or a major global pharmaceu-
Industry. Please contact them at 203-789-0000 or visit the Website at:
ers have changed during the past tical company,” Mr. Butler says.
25 years and the requirements “The old saying, ‘Lead, follow, or needed to face change in the fu- get the hell out of the way’ nev-ture.
“Over the past 25 years we’ve day’s health-care marketplace.
seen advances in research that To be successful tomorrow you’ll
produce molecules targeting need to have an innate love of
more specific diseases,” Mr. Con- complexity and the ability to or-
ger says. “As the industry has ganize what today we’d probably
evolved to address more com- call total chaos. If not, then this
plex and specialized diseases, the industry may not be for you.”
had to evolve. General managers al backgrounds are varied, with
today are leading very different about half of them holding under-
types of organizations than they graduate degrees in the natural
ler interviewed held MBAs. The nation with experience in sales way he approaches problem solv-majority of the commercial lead- and new product development ing. “I noticed this in business ers have a background in sales, helped to grow Chris Clement’s school,” he says. “The teacher marketing, or business devel- career. “Recognizing the value, I would hand out a case study and opment, but there were excep- continued to develop these skills, all these people would immedi-tions. One of the leaders began and even today, the decisions I ately start calculating . I felt his career in manufacturing op- make rely heavily on my busi- like saying, what are they cal-erations and another was a re- ness experiences,” he says.
In 2002, Mr. Clement joined good idea to think and ask your-
specialty biopharmaceutical self what is this problem really
Dare to be different
company Savient Pharmaceuti-
As an Air Force veteran, Boeh-
A key theme that carried across as president and chief operat- ringer Ingelheim
all of the interviews was that ing officer. He became CEO in dent and CEO J. Martin Carroll
these individuals dared to be dif- 2004. “To manage a specialty believes that his military back-
ferent. Early in their careers, the pharmaceutical company, you’re ground gave him experience that
leaders Mr. Conger and Mr. But- involved in everything, and you could not be replicated by going
ler spoke with were distinguish- need a diverse background of straight into business. “What we
ing themselves from their peer scientific, clinical, and commer- were asked to do was much dif-
group by gaining different func- cial experiences,” Mr. Clement ferent than any experiences I
tional experiences, working out- says.
George S. Barrett, CEO, Teva
cisions and leadership,” Mr. Car-
suing special projects. Overall, North America
(tevapharm. roll says. “It exposed me to lead-
these leaders demonstrated a com), and corporate executive
willingness to take career risks VP, global pharmaceutical mar-
and stretch themselves by ac- kets, has a particularly unorth-
tively developing new skills.
Each of the leaders Mr. Conger Having received his dual bache-
and Mr. Butler spoke with gained lor’s degree in history and music experience in multiple areas ear- from Brown University in 1977, ly in their career. Quite often, Mr. Barrett describes himself as individuals moved from sales or possibly the only music major in market research to marketing or his business school class when business development. In some he pursued his MBA at New York instances the functional chang- University, which he received in es were even broader — moving 1988.
from manufacturing and supply
chain management to marketing into business,” Mr. Barrett says. and sales or from research scien- “Unlike many of my business tist to general management. The school classmates, I didn’t have consistent theme for functional an undergraduate degree in eco-experience was to avoid getting nomics or engineering . In the
“To manage a specialty
stuck in a single function track, early part of my career it worried
even if this means taking a lat- me, because I saw all of these
you’re involved in everything,
and you need a diverse
background of scientific,
clinical, and commercial
experiences,” says Chris
Clement, President and Chief
Executive Officer, Savient
market fundamentals in combi- unique background shapes the
ership and responsibilities and manufacturing. In addition, Mr. and chief operating officer of the
assignments I might not other- Carroll learned cost control and biotechnology company Alex-
wise have seen.”
project management skills as he ion
Pharmaceuticals Inc. (alex-
Mr. Carroll started in the phar- dealt with manufacturing’s tight ionpharm.com), but he spent
maceutical industry at Merck
“By the time I transferred into working for large pharmaceuti-
manufacturing, something un- marketing, I had a lot of experi-common among CEOs. “What ences that helped make the move I’ve always reflected on is how a natural transition,” Mr. Carroll
important it is to be exposed to says. “I was the first non-market-
a set of experiences that in other ing sales person at the company
parts of the business you might to become product manager.”
differentiate them from their peers.
reer,” Mr. Carroll says. “If you’re petitive edge for Ellen McDon-
on the third shift in manufactur- ald as well. Ms. McDonald is se-
gain a solid knowledge of all areas.
ing, you’re probably by yourself nior VP, business operations, and
and you have to make decisions, chief business officer, AEterna
so your decision-making process Zentaris
develops because you’ve got to com). She has held senior lead-
make decisions with whatever ership positions at Chugai Phar-
to provide knowledgeable, objective counsel for career
Mr. Carroll also developed Bristol-Myers Squibb
the ability to interact with peo- com), and Johnson & Johnson
ple while working in union and (jnj.com). She holds a bachelor
non-union environments within of science degree in general engi- cal companies.
tional relations from the United able taking well-defined risks,” States Military Academy, West Mr. Keiser says. “This is an im-Point, N.Y., and an MBA from the portant personal characteristic executive program at Columbia for someone who wants to move University, New York.
At West Point, Ms. McDonald cialty pharma. Before joining
had a mentor who showed her Alexion, my professional back-that the military police corps ground was well-balanced be-was her chance to get close to tween commercial experience the action, since women were and understanding the science. not allowed to serve in combat Today, I can’t imagine doing this arms branches. She served in job without a good understand-Germany from 1984 until 1987 ing of science and technology.”and then went back to the offi-
cers’ advanced course and then ground and formal medical/sci-to Fort Hood for her company entific training enabled him to command. In the Army, Ms. Mc- progress through commercial
Donald learned how to manage positions requiring a strong un-
is where we’re going, and
people and balance the needs of derstanding of science in Europe
diversity of medicine will
her people versus the mission. and the United States. “You have
move more and more
She was highly educated in bal- to actively take on jobs and as-
toward the individual,” says
ancing strategy with tactical re- signments that may be risky, but
J. Martin Carroll, president
and CEO, Boehringer
David W. Keiser is president self from your peers,” Mr. Keis-
er says. “I have dual citizen- sensus opinion was that their in- ternational experience he gained ship, which allowed me to take ternational experience contrib- working in Japan was a major a non-traditional path early on uted to their selection for higher factor in winning his leadership and work for a Swiss company positions and now provides them role at Boehringer Ingelheim [Hoffmann LaRoche] in Switzer- with a richer appreciation for Corp. (us.boehringer-ingelheim.
the organizations they are man- com), the U.S. headquarters of
Mr. Keiser grew up in the Unit- aging.
German company Boehringer
While at Merck, Mr. Carroll Ingelheim
European influence. He holds spent a period of time working ingelheim.com). “I didn’t rec-dual citizenship in the Unit- in Japan. “For me, Japan was ognize it, but during the inter-ed States and Switzerland and interesting on many levels,” Mr. view period there was a lot of speaks German.
Carroll says. “That experiencee time spent discussing my experi-offered exposure to a new cultur- ence in Japan,” Mr. Carroll says.
al business environment where I “In hindsight, I think that’s what worked in a business driven by they were trying to determine.
Gaining international experience a Japanese company, Banyu, of In their mind it was a good sur-early in their careers was a way which Merck had a 51% owner- rogate that if I could succeed in many of the executives inter- ship, and run by Japanese man- Japan, I could succeed in a Eu-viewed were able to distinguish agement. I was able to gain a ropean company.”themselves. More than half of the wealth of international experi-
leaders Mr. Conger and Mr. But- ence that afforded me numer- of Bayer HealthCare Pharma-
ler spoke with had worked out- ous opportunities for executive ceuticals
side their home country at some growth.”
Mr. Carroll believes that the in- al experience, working in Berlin,
Thailand, the Middle East, and
the United States. With Schering
AG, Mr. Franzen’s early training
program in the 1980s mandated
that trainees spend time work-
ing in all of the divisions of the
company to best understand
how safe and effective pharma-
ceuticals are brought to patients.
For him, this included a variety
of positions, from working in the
production facilities to serving as
director of marketing in the Phil-
ing diversity to the people that help you run a business like your management team and your sup-
“The more exposure and
“The value of an early-stage
interactions you have with
organization is determined
senior management, the
by the quality of its basic
more opportunity you have
science and the ability to
to contribute to addressing
reduce science to practical
the truly strategic issues of
products,” says Frank
a company,” says Peter A.
Baldino Jr, Ph.D., chairman
Lankau, president and CEO,
and CEO, Cephalon Inc.
Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Naples, Italy, Mr. Pucci is exec- es. We have gone from a very sig- management and, upon comple-utive VP and president, global nificant product recall to a very tion, led to further career pro-oncology business unit, Bayer significant growth spurt with the gression.
HealthCare LLC. He began his integration between Bayer and
career at Eli Lilly
and Co. (lil- Schering AG.”
Living in Germany for sever- planning, where he was able
“Over the years at Lilly, I had al years played a key influence to work on several high-profile
been a sales representative in in the life of Ms. McDonald. She projects that helped distinguish
New Jersey, an area sales man- looks at the world through a him. He successfully led the ef-
ager in New Jersey, a director of global lens. Ms. McDonald also fort to extend the period of ex-
sales in Italy, a marketing assis- has two daughters adopted from clusivity for the anti-hyperten-
tant and marketing manager and China, and she has an affinity for sive drug Calan SR
, at that time
business unit manager before be- Asia which she learned through the company’s flagship product.
coming the regional marketing her children.
The ability to read people in great credibility with the R&D,
and East Africa for a number of any setting is critical, according legal, and commercial organiza-
years,” Mr. Pucci says. “Finally, to Mr. Barrett. “It’s particularly tions. At about the same time,
I ended up as the country head true in a global setting, where Searle was preparing to launch
for Sweden with certain broad- you have these wild cultural dif- three major products — the ar-
er responsibilities for Scandina- ferences,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed thritis drug Daypro
, the anti-in-
via. This earlier experience at the aspect of learning about oth- fective Maxaquin
, and the sleep
Lilly has helped me a great deal er markets and about how you disorder drug Ambien
— over a
at Bayer, where, over the past globalize products or globalize 24 month period. Mr. Clement
five years, we’ve gone through processes but also how you deal was promoted to VP, marketing,
and conquered many challeng- with cultural change and dif- and was given responsibility to
ferences. How do you integrate lead this complex launch effort.
business functions or activities
in context of cultural differenc- have to be able to bring strate-es? How do you advance an orga- gic clarity to the company’s port-nization where you have people folio,” Mr. Clement says. “To do that are looking at things from a this effectively requires a sol-different perspective? I feel very id understanding of the prod-comfortable in doing that.”
ucts’ clinical attributes as well as how physicians will view the
products relative to alternatives they may have. It also requires
Almost all of the executives Mr. great alignment communication Conger and Mr. Butler spoke with and respect among all internal had held full-time positions with departments.”responsibility for a special proj-
ect during at least one point in as president and CEO of Endo
their career. The special projects Pharmaceuticals Inc. (endo.
“The real benefit of joining
— such as managing the integra- com) since May 2005 and was
[smaller] companies is
that you can develop so
tion of an acquisition or manag- appointed a director in March
many more skil s by having
ing the generic defense of a key 2005. His career began at Wil-
responsibility for a much
compound — were high profile liam H. Rorer Inc., a predeces-
broader part of the business
and had a material impact on a sor to Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and
than with big pharma,” John
key business unit or the entire Aventis, as a sales representa-
Orwin, senior VP, sales and
company. The projects provid- tive where he sold the compa-
ed significant exposure to senior ny’s portfolio of prescription
products. Mr. Lankau was soon ter leading the sales and mar- integration was pretty successful
promoted to hospital sales rep- keting integration process for al- and, in the process, I learned a
resentative and then to district most a year, Mr. Lankau chose to tremendous amount about lead-
manager, where he spent the join Alpharma
Inc. (alpharma. ing an organization through a pe-
next nine years managing var- com) as VP, sales and marketing. riod of change.”
ious sales districts.
In 1988, Mr. Lankau was pre- developing a branded products Find a mentor
sented with an opportunity to division for this primarily gener-join the company’s consum- ic pharmaceutical company.
In mid-2000, Mr. Lankau mon among the leaders Mr. Con-
new “consumer professional” di- joined Endo and was named ger and Mr. Butler spoke with vision, which promoted consum- CEO in 2005. Mr. Lankau be- was the presence of a mentor at er brands directly to physicians. lieves that his breadth of expe- important stages of their careers. Looking back, Mr. Lankau now rience in sales, marketing, and Although the majority of these considers this decision a turning business development gives him leaders had worked for at least point in his career. At the time, the ability to understand the in- three different pharmaceutical he realized that moving out of dividual components and eco- or biotechnology companies and the mainstream pharmaceuti- nomic drivers of his business. a single mentor was not neces-cal business was risky, but he Importantly, he believes that sarily present throughout their also saw this as a way to distin- these experiences provide him careers, they attribute a portion guish himself and begin to devel- with a sound understanding of of their success to a senior in-op strategic thinking skills and the risks inherent in the busi- dividual who provided informal participate at a more senior lev- ness and how to manage risk.
John Orwin is senior VP, sales cision points.
“I was frequently working with and marketing, BioOncology, Ge-
The founder of Cephalon
the senior management team of nentech
Inc. (gene.com). Earlier (cephalon.com), Frank Baldino
the organization,” Mr. Lankau in Mr. Orwin’s career, he joined Jr., graduated from Temple Uni-
says. “The more exposure and Alza
Corp. (alza.com) as se- versity in 1979 with a Ph.D. in
interactions you have with se- nior director, oncology market- pharmacology. Shortly after re-
nior management, the more op- ing. During the next few years ceiving his doctorate, he joined
portunity you have to contribute he progressed through a number E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.
to addressing the truly strategic of positions at Alza and Johnson as a research scientist. Between
issues of a company.”
& Johnson’s Ortho Biotech, fol- 1982 and 1987 he progressed
According to Mr. Lankau, he lowing that company’s acquisi- through several positions and be-
has had a number of important tion of Alza.
“My leadership skills really de- within DuPont’s pharmaceutical
risky. “Sometimes the positions veloped when I was asked to head business. Although he enjoyed took me out of the mainstream up the transition team for inte- working for DuPont, he was in-business and sometimes they grating Alza into Ortho Biotech,” terested in achieving a position had a limited duration with no Mr. Orwin says. “Alza had just that would offer him a greater clear next step,” he says. “But, I been acquired, and there was a sense of personal contribution to often sought out these positions strong sense of change and ambi- science and medicine.
because I had confidence in my- guity running throughout the or-
self and knew that if I did well I ganization. I knew I had to help ing other scientists become bio-would be noticed by senior man- my people make the leap to be- technology entrepreneurs, and agement and then other oppor- come part of the new organiza- he began talking to a number of tunities would come.”
tion. I was dealing with a lot of people about how he could make
In 1999, Rhone-Poulenc Ror- complex people issues that had this change in his career. One
er and Hoechst Marion Roussel to be resolved in a fairly short pe- of the most influential people merged to form Aventis, and af- riod of time. Overall, I think the was William J. Rutter, Ph.D., the
founder and chairman of Chiron
tic business leaders are product
focused, with a strong bias to- technology companies with the
“I met with Bill and discussed ward marketing and sales activ- sole idea of making a lot of mon-
my ideas, and he served as a ities. The specialty pharmaceu- ey, according to Mr. Orwin. “A role model and encouraged me tical leaders are equally focused lot of times, this doesn’t hap-to pursue my ambition to start on the product performance plus pen,” Mr. Orwin says. “The real a biotech company,” Dr. Baldi- the new product planning and benefit of joining these compa-no says. “It was 1987, and I was development activities of their nies is that you can develop so 33 years old when I quit DuPont organizations — particularly if many more skills by having re-and went out West to find ven- they are managing companies sponsibility for a much broader ture capital funding to start this with only one or two key com- part of the business than with company. I raised $500,000 and pounds in the market or in de- big pharma.”started Cephalon.”
The leaders of the big pharma in a small organization, one can
has had many influential men- organizations, although clearly work closely with the CEO and tors throughout his career, not involved in key decisions around learn to look at key commercial only among those he has worked sales, marketing, and product issues from the CEO’s perspec-for or worked with, but also development, are often setting a tive. “It can be very powerful if among those who have worked strategic tone for a broader range you choose to return to a larg-for him. “There was an executive of functions where they are not er organization and then bring who worked for me for years,” necessarily providing immedi- these skill sets with you,” Mr. Or-Mr. Barrett says. “I hired him ate direction. Individuals man- win says.
when he was late in his career, aging this type of organization
in many ways because his ex- depend more heavily on leader- gressed from sales representative perience was so extensive. He ship skills, which become more to leading a major business unit followed me from one compa- critical as the complexity of the at Genentech, his success has ny to the other and in a sense, organization increases.
Dr. Baldino believes that a new skills. Throughout his ca-
below. That’s a very important leader’s skill set must evolve reer, a technical knowledge of role. Someone who will tell you with the changing needs of the his products and the therapeu-the truth. I’ve learned even from organization. “A leader with tic markets have been require-people who I admired the least. strong R&D management skills ments. Mr. Orwin developed the You just have to have a commit- can be ideal for a start-up orga- functional skills as a marketer ment to the lessons from wher- nization,” he says. “The value that were key to his success as ever they come.”
of an early-stage organization is a product manager and head of determined by the quality of its marketing.
Develop leadership skills
basic science and the ability to
reduce science to practical prod- er organizations often offer a
In surveying executives from dif- ucts …. The company evolves great opportunity to develop a ferent kinds of companies in the and at some point the ability to broad set of technical skills early pharmaceutical and biotechnol- consummate commercial deals in one’s career. As the size of Mr. ogy industries, Mr. Conger and becomes a key requirement for Orwin’s organizational responsi-Mr. Butler found that the mix of the organization. Since most of bility expanded, the relative im-skills needed grows more com- these companies are losing mon- portance of his leadership skills plex depending on the position ey for the first decade, you must have increased. He believes that within the organization. Suc- do deals to survive. You’re either these leadership skills are often cessful leaders have evolved to raising money or selling research developed during times of orga-meet the organization’s chang- or looking for a licensing deal. nizational adversity. Even with ing needs.
You must have a willingness and a strongly developed set of tech-
For example, the therapeu- instinct to evolve.”
skills, Mr. Orwin continues to be- Expect more complexity
be the best source for ideas to These leaders expect to see an that the public and the sharehold-drive the business.
increasingly complex business ers understand there is a differ-
“Regardless of which position during the next 20 years. The ence that we make.”
you hold in the organization, prevailing business model will
there’s no substitute for spend- continue to evolve from being lenges of the future will require ing a day in the field,” Mr. Or- driven by blockbuster products more lateral thinking among in-win says. “You reconnect with to specialty pharmaceuticals as dustry leaders. “The skills that the customer and come back to new technologies enable the de- will emerge as the most impor-the office with a lot of ideas.”
velopment of personalized medi- tant will not so much be technical
Mr. Franzen believes that his cines. This, in turn, will continue skill sets, but will be the way peo-
leadership skills were put to the to place price and reimbursement ple think,” Mr. Pucci says. “The test during the year-long integra- issues at the center of a national leaders and all those working in tion of Bayer and Schering. Bay- health-care debate. As these is- the health-care sector of tomor-er HealthCare Pharmaceuticals sues and opportunities make the row will contribute and succeed if was launched in April of this year, industry more complex, individ- they can be lateral thinkers.”incorporating Schering’s subsid- uals with diverse experience and
iary Berlex Inc. “The experience strong leadership skills will be in more common in the early 1990s of uniting our two companies high demand.
For many years, changes in the care. Leaders then needed to be
challenging and energizing,” Mr. pharmaceutical industry have oc- aware of their surroundings and Franzen says. “With the April 4 curred slowly and incremental- of the interdependencies with launch of Bayer HealthCare Phar- ly, but that is changing, according business partners and other rel-maceuticals in the United States, to Mr. Barrett. “We’re at a point evant parties. They were aware we have established a new and where we’re seeing real disconti- that the pharmaceutical industry highly-competitive specialty nuity,” he says. “Changes are big- and its products are an element pharmaceutical business in the ger and are coming faster.”
A deeper appreciation of di- Mr. Pucci believes, however, that
versity in the marketplace will in the last several years, that type
The integration was informa- be crucial, according to Mr. Car- of lateral thinking has not been as
tive for Mr. Pucci as well. “The six roll. “Changing demographics are prominent in the industry. As the years since I have been at Bay- a phenomenon that we’ll have industry becomes more complex, er tell me that anything is pos- to react to and be able to mar- that will have to change.
sible,” he says. “Life is not just ket and sell to,” he says. “R&D
about change, it’s about traumat- across various patient population of managing pharmacogenom-ic change and how to succeed profiles and the differences with- ics and diagnostics, and that will through it.” The continuous in people will be very important. require tremendous technical transformation of the pharma- Personalized medicine is where skills,” Mr. Pucci says. “But then ceutical industry has taught Mr. we’re going, and diversity of med- we will need to understand and Pucci to look ahead positively icine will move more and more govern the impact of pharmacog-and to be courageous in the face toward the individual.”
As the industry changes during velopment, and reimbursement,
of blindly going into situations to the next few years, the principal and it will require very effective fight through it,” Mr. Pucci says. experience processes of research lateral thinking to develop a vi-“But to go into the situation in a and innovation will be crucial, ac- sion and a coherent strategy.”deliberate way with a game plan cording to Mr. Franzen. “If people that, however risky, has a good cannot make a difference at the
This article can be accessed online at
chance of success and is the best disease, patient, or provider lev-option you can devise.”
Reprinted with permission from MED AD NEWS, October 2007.
Copyright 2007 by Engel Publishing Partners. All rights reserved.
LUKE NIELSON Education University of Wyoming College of Business: Marketing Major Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2013 Courses Studied: Accounting, Economics, Information Management Systems, Business Calculus Western Wyoming Community College Associate of Arts in General Studies & Certificate in Digital Design Technologies Cumulativ
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