Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez, MBA 84, to Share Insights from Big Pharma and Consumer Goods, Sept. 24

Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez, MBA 84, the leader of a $56 billion drugmaker whose prescription for success has included strategies from a consumer goods career, will speak at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Wells Fargo Room.

Registration for the event will be available on the Dean's Speaker Series website as the date approaches.

Jimenez became the first American to take the helm of Novartis in 2010. Since then the Swiss company's sales have climbed from $50 billion in 2010 to $56.7 billion in 2012. He previously led Novartis' Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Health Divisions, but spent much of his career in the consumer goods industry, climbing the corporate ladder at Clorox, ConAgra, and H.J. Heinz in both the U.S. and Europe.

While longer timelines are one obvious difference between big pharma and consumer goods, Jimenez has pointed out that the two industries share common ground: a focus on the customer. "I was able to apply this approach to the pharma industry," he said in a 2010 article in CalBusiness magazine. "Commitment to our customers remains my top priority."

In a more recent Q&A with the New York Times last year, Jimenez said his three big priorities are winning through science-based innovation, accelerating growth by turning innovation into sales and profit growth, and driving productivity. Changes that Jimenez has championed at Novartis include "reverse auctioning," in which suppliers bid competitively for contracts; cuts in marketing and sales; and quicker decision-making.

This Dean's Speaker Series event is made possible in part by the Mary Josephine Hicks Distinguished Speaker Series Fund.

Read a profile of Jimenez in the school's CalBusiness magazine