Lilly shuffles management as new CEO signs on

Dive Brief:

  • Eli Lilly's new president and CEO David Ricks, who stepped into place Jan. 1, has started making changes at the company, beginning with a reorganization of its leadership team.
  • Christi Shaw has come back from her stint as president of Novartis USA to head up Lilly's bio-medicines business; Enrique Conterno, president of the company's diabetes arm, is taking on the role of president of Lilly USA as its current president, Alex Azar heads out; and Alfonso Zulueta, previously leading the emerging markets business, will helm the newly-formed Lilly International.
  • "I'm confident that these changes will help to increase the flow of innovation from our pipeline and maximize opportunities in priority therapeutic and geographic areas," Ricks said in a Jan. 5 statement.

Dive Insight:

Lilly had a complicated back end to 2016. The failure of the company's Alzheimer's drug solanezumab in Phase 3 led to a stock drop of almost 12% and had an impact on other players in the space. As a response to this, and to forthcoming patent expirations, Lilly made cuts to its U.S. field force in December.

But with the new year comes a new direction under Ricks.

"Lilly begins 2017 with a clear view of its opportunities for growth in the years ahead," Ricks said in the statement. "The adjustments we are announcing today to pharmaceutical therapeutic and geographic business areas are designed to maximize the potential of our late-stage pipeline and newly launched medicines, while improving productivity."

"With new medicines recently launched — and potential new medicines in development for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, neurodegeneration and pain — Lilly is in the early stages of a new growth period," he added. "Now is the time to make sure that our organization is set up to make the most of these opportunities. With clear priorities and the right structure, achieving growth while improving our productivity will go hand-in-hand."

To that end, Lilly also announced its diabetes, oncology and bio-medicines divisions would takeover marketing responsibilities for their own drugs in China. Those units already handle commercialization efforts in Canada, Japan and the U.S.

At the end of 2016, Lilly predicted 2017 revenues of $21.8 billion and $22.3 billion, and reinforced the plan of launching 20 new products in the ten years between 2014 and 2023.

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Filed Under: Corporate News
Top image credit: Eli Lilly