First-Person

Joe Jimenez

Joe Jimenez
MBA 84

CEO
Novartis
Basel, Switzerland

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In January 2010, Joe Jimenez, MBA 84, was named the first American to helm Novartis, a Swiss-based healthcare company. The ability to identify and meet challenges, and motivate employees to accomplish goals, is one of many fortes Jimenez has been perfecting since his days climbing the corporate ladder at Clorox, where he began his career as a brand manager.

"The marketing courses that I took at Haas were very quantitative. I found that when I went to Clorox to start my career, this really helped me have an analytical bent that other people new to Clorox did not have. Also, the marketing courses that I took at Haas helped me understand how to think about the customer and the consumer in a deep way.

"When I entered the pharmaceutical business, it was clear that the commercial model had to change: the old model of field forces visiting physicians in their offices worked in the '80s and '90s, but was not going to work in 2007. I focused the organization on making significant changes to the commercial model, taking more of a key account management approach which targeted key payers and understood their needs.

"Also, having a marketing background enabled me to teach the organization to better understand the patients, how they manage their diseases, and how we can help them. For example, many patients don't take the medicine they are prescribed. We used traditional marketing approaches to understand the psychology of why, and then overcome those issues."

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