Where should Big Pharma’s next leaders come from?
If you believe that the biotech model is the future of drug development, then executives coming up through the ranks of Big Pharma might be excluded from the top spots. Many experienced pharma execs would be out of the running for CEO. As Big Pharma searches for the way forward, they may seek outsiders such as fumbling Ford did with Alan Mulally from Boeing.
But drug research and development is a difficult business for most non-scientists, and for Big Pharma to get innovative, looking to biotech execs may be the best place to search for their next leaders.
And who would want to take on the huge task of transforming pharma?
So the next wave of pharma leaders might have to come from young, up-and-coming leaders at biotechs, such as the heads of research. It is akin to NFL teams raiding the New England Patriots for a 30-something defensive coordinator. Pharma will have to hope that these young biotech leaders can bring their biotech “system” to pharma. It was a risk, but the Jets did it in New York.
So pharma companies may have to look at biotechs’ heads of research or product development and get out the checkbook.
I suppose one way to accomplish this transformation for a pharma company is to buy a big biotech company and set up a clear succession. Or is the solution for a big biotech company to buy a pharma company?
Genentech’s market cap is roughly that of Merck’s. What an integration something like that would be.