ZS mourns death of co-founder Andy Zoltners

Andy Zoltners
ZS Associates

Andy Zoltners

The biopharma industry has lost another leading figure with the passing of Andy Zoltners, co-founder of ZS Associates, on the 40th anniversary of the company.

Zoltners – the ‘Z’ in ZS Associates, who formed the company with Prabha Sinha in 1983 – died on 11th April at the age of 77 after a long and difficult battle with Parkinson’s disease, according to an announcement by the drugmaker’s current chief executive, Pratap Khedkar.

A lifelong academic and business leader who taught at Northwestern University for 35 years, Zoltners was inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2012 the Pharmaceutical Management Science Association honoured Zoltners and Sinha with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

He was instrumental in growing ZS from a two-person operation to a global giant, with more than 12,000 employees in 35 offices across 15 countries, and with operations spanning pharma and biotech, as well as other industrial sectors, including medtech, high-tech and telecommunications, financial services, and hospitality.

Zoltners was a recognised expert in sales force strategy, sales force size, structure and deployment, sales force compensation, and sales force effectiveness, and was co-author of dozens of academic articles, as well as a series of books on salesforce management.

"As a leader, Andy’s vision and tenacity were matched only by his humility,” said Khedkar. “The foundation he laid, on which we’ve built ZS’s culture, values, and commitment to excellence, is deep and indelible.

“Andy Zoltners and Prabha Sinha founded ZS on three core values: treat people right, do the right thing, and get it right,” he continued. “With Andy’s passing, the ZS team has even more resolve to honour his memory by working every day to embody these principles and continue building our business on ethics, integrity, and respect.”

In recent years, ZS has made inroads into the digital health category, and recently reached an agreement to acquire Trials.ai, a company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise the experience and deliver pharmaceuticals to market faster.