Pharma's future depends on its capacity to reinvent itself—fast—for the 21st century. There's no shortage of brilliant new business models and visionary ideas, but creating change always comes down to leadership. Across the industry—but most significantly in the large caps—we are witnessing a dramatic turnover at the top, and the most remarkable fact about these new executives is their relative youth.
Take Andrew Witty, the spanking new CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, who holds the future of the storied $40 billion drug giant in his 44-year-old hands. Of course, Witty can boast a few more credentials than just being young. He's proved his chops as a change agent with the recent, swift restructuring of Glaxo's European operations while keeping sales up. And after serving in Asia, Africa, and the US in his 23 years at the firm, his worldview is truly global. Best of all, people at Glaxo report being jazzed about their new boss, describing him as articulate, inspiring, and visionary. (Unfortunately he had no Wittycisms to share with us for this cover story.)
Witty sure looks like the kind of transformative leader pharma urgently needs. Yet while being CEO comes with a job description, true leadership is much harder to define. Is it a skill? An aspect of character? Or just seeing the world as others need to, but can't? It seems always to be in short supply, and for all the efforts companies make to find it, recruit it, develop it, and move it into a corner office, leadership—like lightning—strikes where it will.In the following pages, we profile 45 men and women most likely to be lightning-struck, a generation of young pharma professionals we have selected as the 2008 Pharmaceutical Executive Emerging Pharma Leaders. A few are already CEOs, while others are still rising through the ranks. But every one of them shows the passion, vision, and dedication leadership requires—and that the industry needs to reach its full potential as a global healthcare leader. Get to know them. They'll be making big changes in your industry.
Roger Adsett, Shire
ABOUT THE EMERGING LEADERSHIP AWARD: The ELAs are based on a nomination-led process. To be eligible, candidates must be age 45 or under as of January 1, 2008. Following several call-for-entries promotions, Pharm Exec accepted such nominations until April 1, 2008. Following that date, nominations were placed into categories across job functions. Pharm Exec then worked with our Editorial Advisory Board and others to judge the various entrants based on a set of key criteria. Executives that received the highest ranking in their respective categories in the judging process are profiled in this feature. For a full listing of the ELA judges, please visit http://www.pharmexec.com/pharmexec/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=525005