PharmExec Blog

Gearing up: HBA Leadership Conference

Two thousand and eight seems to be a year of unprecedented female leadership. Forget for a second (if you can) the run-off for the Presidential election. If you just consider healthcare, the ladies are really stepping up—and making all the right moves. Consider a few examples: J&J names Sheri McCoy worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals (replacing Christine Poon); Dr. Deborah Dunsire orchestrated the deal of the year with Takeda’s takeover of Millennium; and Meryl Zausner was named CFO of Novartis—the only woman in Big Pharma to hold that title.

And for the rest of us? Well, at least there’s the Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association (HBA) and its annual Leadership Conference. The event is being held next week in Chicago (and if it’s the hometown of the President, we expect it to be all the more exciting). With more than 600 attendees already registered, it will be the largest meeting of its kind. One-third of these women are vice presidents and above, so for the ladder climbers in the industry, this is the place to be.

Pharm Exec will be doing on-site blogging—so stay tuned for regular updates. In particular, we’re looking forward to the panel of “Hard Lessons, Sweet Successes,” moderated by Charlotte Sibley, HBA’s 2008 Woman of the Year. Charlotte shocked the luncheon crowd in May when she revealed her own story of the ups and downs of working in the pharmaceutical industry. (To read her story, click here) This time, she puts tough questions to an esteemed panel including Dierdre Connelly, President, Lilly USA; Len Kanavy, Vice President, Commercial Operations of Genentech; Renee Tannenbaum, Global Head, Commercial Operations, Novartis AG; Eisai’s President Lonnel Coats; and Ginger Graham, Two Trees Consulting, former CEO Amylin.

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