A day in the life of... a seasoned pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry executive


Pierre A Morgon

Theradiag and Sanofi Pasteur

Pierre A Morgon is a Non Executive Director at Theradiag (formerly Biomedical Diagnostics) and also Vice President, Franchise &amp, Global Marketing Strategy at Sanofi Pasteur. Here he shares what a typical day is like for him.

Continuing our series where we speak with individuals from various roles and functions across the pharmaceutical industry on what a typical day is like for them, we speak with Pierre A Morgon.

Pierre Morgon is a Non Executive Director at Theradiag (formerly Biomedical Diagnostics), in addition to being Vice President of Franchise &amp, Global Marketing Strategy at Sanofi Pasteur. He explains what it’s like to walk in his shoes for the day.

Interview Summary

RA: How did you come to be in this role?

PM: During the six years that I spent outside of the vaccine industry between 2003 and 2003, I had always remained in contact with my previous boss as Aventis Pasteur who eventually decided to capitalize on the skills that I acquired in other business settings, and jokingly asked me to come back because “he needed a true marketer in the executive committee” (sic).

In addition, I’ve always been interested in global market trends, economic implications on the functioning of all industries, starting with health care, and consumer behavior.

RA: What does a typical day / week at work look like for you?

PM: There isn’t a typical day, other than 15 to 16 hours of work, combining one-on-one interactions, meetings, videoconferencing, emailing, etc. The most interesting part of my role is the wide scope of topics and the intertwining of the subjects in the global strategic picture.


"The most interesting part of my role is the wide scope of topics and the intertwining of the subjects in the global strategic picture."


RA: What are the biggest challenges you face on a day-to-day basis?

PM: Sufficiently enlarging the scope of strategic thinking to adequately prepare the senior management to the full range of strategic scenarios that Sanofi Pasteur is likely to face and therefore help set the stage for the relevant decision making.

In addition, challenging inertia, status quo and the deeply rooted belief of some in the company that the vaccine industry is (partially) immune to the global consumer trends that surround us.

RA: What are the parts of your job that you find the most rewarding?

PM: Exploring novel topics, data and trends across markets to generate insights and inspiration, and use them to shape strategic orientations, to manage relationships and to develop people in sync with the long-term company needs.

RA: What are the most important skills in doing your role well?

PM: Curiosity, intellectual flexibility, strategic thinking, empathy and emotional intelligence, and organizational awareness.

RA: What is the likely progression from where you are now?

PM: Who knows? Perhaps evolution closer to the shareholders, in global roles influencing strategic decisions related to portfolio structure, M&amp,A, etc.


"Be curious, be patient, and never trust anyone telling you that you can’t do it..."


RA: What advice would you give a job seeker on looking to get into this role?

PM: Be curious, be patient, and never trust anyone telling you that you can’t do it, until you’ve actually tried, using a rigorous experimental approach!

RA: Who inspires you the most?

PM: Great scientists, such as Pasteur (of course), Einstein, Newton, Edison and Volta. But also great painters, such as Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Picasso and Klimt. Yet, most often, my main source of inspirations are closer to my professional concerns (world renown strategists such as Sun Tzu, Von Clausewitz, Machiavelli, Julius Cesar, …) or to my personal life, starting with my two daughters (well in line with the French proverb according to which “the fruit never falls far from the tree”).

RA: Thank you for your time.

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About the interviewee:

Pierre A. MORGON received his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Lyon in 1985, his Masters in Business Law from the Lyon Law School in 1986 and his MBA from ESSEC in Paris in 1988. He is also an alumnus of INSEAD, IMD and MCE executive programs.

He is a member of the Management Center Europe Sales &amp, Marketing Council, and he has been a lecturer in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry seminars and in business schools for several years.

Pierre MORGON has over 25 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, in marketing and operations positions as Product Manager, International Group Product Manager, International Marketing Director, Vice President Marketing, VP Business Unit, General Manager and VP Global Marketing Operations and Strategy.

Through these local and global positions, he has acquired direct experience with blockbuster products in diverse markets (primary care, specialty care, hospital, vaccines, and biotechnology), geographies (US, Europe, Japan, China, India, Emerging Markets) and organizations.

He spent 2 years at ICI-Pharma, followed by 8 years at Synthelabo, a division of L’Oreal. Subsequently, he joined Aventis Pasteur in 1998, as VP Marketing, International, and was promoted to Vice President Global Product Marketing.

Then he had a diversified and complementary set of experiences in operations, first at Yamanouchi Pharma France as General Manager, then at BMS France as Vice President, Hospital Operations, then at Schering-Plough as Director of the Primary Care business unit in France, and eventually at BioAlliance Pharma as Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Management Board.

In June 2009, he joined Sanofi Pasteur as Vice President, Franchise &amp, Global Marketing Operations, and was appointed Vice President, Franchise &amp, Global Marketing Strategy in July 2011. He is a member of the Executive Committee.

He has been appointed non executive director to the Board of Theradiag (formerly BioMedical Diagnostics) in March 2012, a company focusing on in vitro diagnostics in auto-immunity, infectious diseases and allergy.

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14 August, 2012