Is your company lucky enough to employ one of the most respected CEOs in the world? Barron’s Magazine released their 11th annual list of top corporate bosses; here I narrow the list to only leaders in the Health and Life Science industry.

1). Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO since 2010

  • Annualized Returns While CEO — 17%
  • Market Value — $277 billion

Profile – A relative rookie in the Life Science world, Jimenez only joined Novartis in 2007. Prior, he ran North American operations for H.J. Heinz, which if you have followed my previous posts, should come as no surprise that a consumer package goods giant churns out talent that Big Pharma loves. Talent deeply skilled in sales, marketing, and supply-chain logistics. Jimenez now controls the largest company by market value in Europe and No. 2 maker of generics worldwide.

2). John Martin, Gilead Sciences CEO since 1996

  • Annualized Returns While CEO — 28%
  • Market Value — $156 billion

Profile — A brilliant chemist who isn’t afraid to deploy cash when he sees opportunities; purchased Pharmasset in 2011 for $11 billion. Through the purchase, the intellectual property for Sovaldi was acquired. In 2014, Sovaldi became the the biggest blockbuster launch in pharma history, with $10 billion in revenues. Less we forget–in 2011 the U.S. economy was experiencing historic turmoil; deploying cash (the purchase was an all cash deal) was a big gamble, one that now looks simply brilliant.


3). Larry Merlo, CVS Health CEO since 2011

  • Annualized Returns While CEO — 35%
  • Market Value — $119 billion

Profile – A trained pharmacist and 25 year veteran of CVS, Merlo recently doubled-down on his long term vision of CVS being a total healthcare company, when CVS stopped selling tobacco products. He’s moved the company away from “just” a retail drug store chain, CVS is now the second largest pharmacy benefits manager and second largest retail drug pharmacy in the U.S.. His vision of more efficient front-line primary health care is currently playing out with the company’s cost effective MinuteClinics.

4). Leonard Schleifer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals CEO since 1988

  • Annualized Returns While CEO — 16%
  • Market Value — $42 billion

Profile — This founder and CEO, uses his dual M.D. and Ph.D. to keep Regeneron ahead of the pack when it comes to drug innovation–Regeneron is currently #5 on the 2014 Forbes list of most innovative companies. Schleifer also seems to hold the magic formula when it comes to breakthrough innovation at the right price. Regeneron has one of the lowest costs to develop new drugs at approx. $800 million. Compare this to Big Pharma’s average, around $5-7 billion per drug, according to Forbes, August 2013,

5). Miles White, Abbott Laboratories CEO since 1999

  • Annualized Returns While CEO — 8%
  • Market Value — $71 billion

Profile — Best known for his shrewd ability to create shareholder value, White’s spin-off’s have created a total of $182 billion in market cap from these three companies: AbbVie, Hospira and Abbott. Ever the man on a mission, White seems happiest when making deals. Most recently, divesting Abbott’s generics business to Mylan for $5 billion, and acquiring Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals S.A. for $3 billion. He’s also not afraid going to the front–as displayed in this piece for The Wall Street Journal where White opines on corporate tax inversions

Did we miss your company’s well respected HLS leader? Leave a comment, why she should be on next year’s list.

.Kyle J. Heppenstall | Managing Director |

Note: My condensed list is sorted alphabetically by last name and not meant to be a ranking of any sort. The full inventory, including non-Health CEOs can be found in Barron’s Magazine, March 23, 2015

–Quick Diagnostic Health Checkup — Is Your Business Ready for 2015?–

1 — Are you a leader in the Health and Life Science industry?

2 — Do you support one of these capabilities? Researching & Developing New Products, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Assuring Quality & Compliance, Generating Demand, Billing & Collecting?

3 — Need to flawlessly execute an Operational Excellence project in the next 90 days?

4 — Do you want breakthrough growth & efficiency results that generate 10-20x returns on investment?

5 — Feel like your only choices are the “Big Box Consulting Firms” and want an alternative?

If you answered “Yes” to 3-out-of-5 questions — We should talk, email [email protected], call 949.387.9111, or use our contact form.


Primary “World’s Best” list sourced from Barron’s Magazine, 23 March, 2015. The narrative is my own.

This post was originally published 25-March-2015. On this day in 1774, British Parliament passes the Boston Port Act, closing the port of Boston and demanding that the city’s residents pay for the nearly $1 million worth (in today’s money) of tea dumped into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773. Source: History Channel,