Lilly Announces Changes in Commercial Organization and Leadership

Eli Lilly and Company has made a series of changes to its commercial organization and leadership structure. The moves come as David A. Ricks assumed the role of president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Lilly on January 1, 2017, succeeding John C. Lechleiter, PhD., who retired as president and CEO, effective December 31, 2016. Lilly had previously announced the leadership change in July 2016 and is now proceeding with changes in its commercial organization. Ricks will become chairman of the board on June 1, 2017 following the retirement of Lechleiter as non-executive chairman, who is continually in that role on May 31, 2017.

With respect to its announced changes in its commercial organization, Lilly has hired Christi Shaw to be senior vice president and president of Lilly Bio-Medicines beginning on April 3. Ms. Shaw will succeed Ricks, who became Lilly’s president and CEO on January 1, 2017. Ms. Shaw, who started her career at Lilly in 1989, has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical and medical device experience.

In her new role, Ms. Shaw will lead areas of potential growth for Lilly: immunology, neurodegeneration, and pain as well as many of the company’s established brand products. Ms. Shaw worked at Lilly from 1989 to 2002 in sales and marketing roles. Most recently, she served as president of Novartis USA and previously as North American region head of Novartis Oncology. In the 2000s, she held a series of  roles of increasing responsibilityin the Janssen and Ethicon subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson.

Beginning on February 1, Lilly’s Diabetes, Oncology and Bio-Medicines human pharmaceutical therapeutic business areas will assume commercial responsibility for their products in China in addition to the US, Japanese, and Canadian markets in which they already operate.

Lilly Diabetes will host the company’s human pharmaceutical commercial operations in the US, China, Japan, and Canada. Enrique Conterno, senior vice president of Lilly and president of Lilly Diabetes, will assume additional responsibilities as president of Lilly USA. Mr. Conterno will succeed Alex Azar, who has decided to leave his role as president of Lilly USA to pursue other career opportunities.

Lilly’s current emerging markets business will combine with Europe to form Lilly International, which will have commercial responsibility for the company’s human pharmaceutical products in these markets. Alfonso (Chito) Zulueta, who has led the emerging markets business for the last three years, will be senior vice president of Lilly and president of Lilly International.

Sue Mahony, PhD, will continue as senior vice president of Lilly and president of Lilly Oncology.

Lilly expects that these organizational changes will increase productivity and simplify the company’s global commercial organization. These changes will also result in a reduction in leadership positions. In December 2016, the company announced reductions to its US field force in anticipation of patent expirations for key products later this year and in response to clinical trial results on solanezumab, a monoclonal antibody for treating mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. In November 2016, Lilly reported disappointing results of a Phase III clinical study where solanezumab did not meet the study’s primary endpoint. Patients treated with solanezumab did not experience a statistically significant slowing in cognitive decline compared to patients treated with placebo, according to Lilly. The company decided not to file for regulatory approval of solanezumab.

Source: Eli Lilly and Company

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