Immediately following CSL Limited’s presentation at the 35th Annual J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this past January in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to meet Paul Perreault, the company’s CEO and managing director (see photo). Actually, Perreault and I first met over the phone back in November 2016, resulting in Life Science Leader magazine’s February 2017 cover feature — The Secrets To CSL Limited’s Incredible Revenue Growth . The original article included three sidebars. Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case when producing a print publication, you don’t have room for everything. As a result, we ended up cutting the sidebar printed below.
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Achieving Work-Life Balance As A Big Pharma Exec
Being the head of any Big Pharma is bound to test an executive’s work-life balance. But when that Big Pharma is headquartered in Australia, and the company prides itself on being a “global operation,” maintaining any kind of work-life balance is a formidable task. “I’m not the poster child for how to strive for work-life balance,” admits Paul Perreault, CEO and managing director of CSL. Perreault spends about 100 days a year in Australia for board and general shareholders meetings, as well as results presentations. Considering the U.S. constitutes the bulk of CSL’s business (i.e., approximately 44 percent of annual sales), he spends about 130 days there (he owns a home in Eastern Pennsylvania).
“The rest of my time is spent in Europe [responsible for 27 percent of annual sales], Asia [11 percent], and everywhere else I have to be, such as Latin and South America,” he explains. Perreault estimates that he travels more than 200 days a year.
“One of the things I have done to help with this balance is to bring my family to patient events, so they can see and know what I do.” He admits this still doesn’t make it any easier when something is happening at home and he’s trying to deal with it from halfway around the globe. But one thing that does make it easier is having children who are a bit older. “My daughter is married, and my son is getting ready to graduate from Penn State,” he shares. “Technologies, such as FaceTime help, as does having an extremely understanding and supportive spouse.” But Perreault says it is hard and you have to stay focused. “You don’t drink on the plane, you work out when you land, and you try to take care of yourself. Because believe me, if you don’t, it’ll wear you out,” he says. Finally, Perreault enjoys taking a two-week vacation over the Christmas holidays to spend time with his family. “For me, being in the U.S. doesn’t mean spending all of my time in the office working,” he concludes.