Take Me to Your Leader - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Take Me to Your Leader
Turnover in the top 10 has new CEOs racing to reinvent the way their companies do business. But who has the courage to lead the industry itself back to greatness?


Pharmaceutical Executive


"It would be nice if the industry could have a credible human face—a Dr. Koop figure," says Jeff Moe. But the notion of weekly news conferences with a white-bearded, straight-shooting avuncular Dr. Pharma is a little too neat for this murky reality. Industry CEOs need to risk stepping out and mixing it up with the press and the public. And ultimately, the mission to restore public trust is an opportunity to show collective leadership. Says Ernst & Young's Buck Luce: "The industry will rise or fall together. What is required is for leaders to learn how to give up a little sovereignty and redefine—in their hearts—what collaboration with regulators, the government, and each other could look like in the pursuit of greater health outcomes."

The Faces of Mount Pharma

This month's cover features Big Pharma's version of that surrealistic national monument in the middle of nowhere, Mount Rushmore. Meet the three towering figures—the industry's Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln—whose giant mugs would be carved into that granite rock:

Robert Wood Johnson (1845–1910)
Johnson & Johnson Corp. (1886–1910)

If you're stuck on Band-Aid brand, you've got Robert Wood Johnson to thank. Though not as famous as his son, RWJ II, this pharmacist's apprentice turned salesman was 44 when he founded Johnson & Johnson with his two brothers in 1886. Long fascinated by Joseph Lister's revolutionary theory that airborne germs caused infection, he and R&D maestro Dr. Fred Kilmer turned out a seemingly endless line of innovations, including sterile surgical tools, sterilized bandages, talcum powder, baby cream, and the first-ever first-aid kit.

Robert Wood Johnson (1845–1910)
Johnson & Johnson Corp. (1886–1910)

If you're stuck on Band-Aid brand, you've got Robert Wood Johnson to thank. Though not as famous as his son, RWJ II, this pharmacist's apprentice turned salesman was 44 when he founded Johnson & Johnson with his two brothers in 1886. Long fascinated by Joseph Lister's revolutionary theory that airborne germs caused infection, he and R&D maestro Dr. Fred Kilmer turned out a seemingly endless line of innovations, including sterile surgical tools, sterilized bandages, talcum powder, baby cream, and the first-ever first-aid kit.

Edmund T. Pratt Jr. (1927–2002)
Pfizer, Inc. (1964–1997)

After stints in the Navy, at IBM, and as Kennedy's assistant secretary of the army, Edmund Pratt joined Pfizer as controller at its brand-new world headquarters in midtown Manhattan and never looked back. During his CEO heyday, he expanded Pfizer into a global leader—acquiring, diversifying, opening a raft of R&D facilities, and turning patent protection into an international-trade issue. But Pratt made sure Pfizer remained a good neighbor to the Big Apple, marshalling ambitious urban-renewal initiatives while marketing one billion-dollar drug after another.


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