Magazine Article | May 9, 2017

Do You See A Trend In Life Science Leader?

Source: Life Science Leader

By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
Follow Me On Twitter @RfwrightLSL

Having Jean-Jacques (J.J.) Bienaimé, chairman and CEO of BioMarin Pharmaceutical, on our cover this month represents a recent trend happening at our magazine — we’re interviewing more and more CEOs and presidents.

We have always focused on interviewing top biopharma executives, but that doesn’t always mean the person at the top of the org chart is the right one for a story. For example, if investigating how a company implemented a new manufacturing efficiency process, the COO or some other manufacturing executive may be a better fit than the CEO. Still, we have featured a string of CEOs recently — CSL Limited’s Paul Perreault (February), Grünenthal Group’s Gabriel Baertschi (March), Vivek Ramaswamy from Roivant Sciences (April), and now Bienaimé. And it looks like this trend is going to continue.

One of the articles I’m working on for our June issue involves Juan Ramón Alaix, CEO of Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS), which is one of biopharma’s biggest ($2.2 billion) IPO spinoffs. That fact, along with some internal data indicating our readers were very interested in the animal health field, put Alaix high on our list of executives to interview. We wanted to know how Zoetis has managed to live up to its IPO expectations, reaching a current valuation of approximately $26 billion with annual sales revenues of nearly $5 billion. To give you some perspective, if ranked among top 25 biotechs, Zoetis would be in the top 15 and bigger than the likes of Alkermes, Mylan, and Valeant, just to name a few. Luckily, I was able to meet Alaix following the Zoetis breakout session at this year’s J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Our dialogue has continued these past few months and will culminate with the article in the June issue.

Another project in the works involves a group of “retired” biopharmaceutical industry CEOs. What insights might six former CEOs — no longer constrained by corporate lawyers and company PR teams — have for today’s industry leaders? A lot. After all, most former biopharmaceutical CEOs find it very difficult to actually retire; their wisdom is always in high demand. Combined, these industry icons serve on over 34 corporate and nonprofit boards and are highly involved in a variety of other projects. The group includes past chairs of our industry’s largest trade associations (BIO and PhRMA), and we look forward to sharing their perspectives in our upcoming July issue.

Will this trend of CEOs on our cover continue? I hope so, but it’s hard to say. What I can attest to is LSL’s continued commitment to engage with industry leaders willing to share their best business practices. And, as always, we welcome your feedback as to what top execs you would like to see featured. Have a suggestion? If so, email me at, or better yet, give me a call at (814) 897-7700, ext. 140. We look forward to hearing how we can continue to improve your magazine to better serve you — our readers.