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Global Head of Development Franchises, Novartis
GLOBAL: Was a Red Cross delegate in Nepal
FORMERLY: Country head for South Korea
With only eight years in the industry, Andrin Oswald, MD, has clearly been fast-tracked for approval. Early-on, Oswald, 37, traded his MD coat for a business suit, then left McKinsey for the International Red Cross in Nepal. "I pursued learning opportunities," he says. "Sometimes a step that seemed unusual turned out to be a great asset in the next role."
Oswald is no stranger to the executive suite, having started out as assistant to CEO Dani Vasella. Soon he was dispatched to South Korea as country head, just as new trade packs were unlocking that fast-growing market. But in the wake of FDA knockdowns of Galvus, Prexige, and Zelnorm, Oswald was called back to HQ to help execute new pharma chief Joe Jimenez's development model.
Like many docs who join pharma, Oswald says his passion is to reach suffering people. He should be in hog heaven with Novartis' 20 NDAs due on deck by 2010 and 150 compounds currently in the pipeline. He may also be in the horse race to become the next CEO; should Vasella, 54, decide to kick back after making the new revolution at Novartis, it wouldn't be unusual to expect a successor in his own mold: a pharma exec with a physician's sensibility with one eye on his company's stock value, the other on its social value.