October 5, 2017 – Persistent talent shortages and the need to develop and retain employees with critical business and technology skill sets will continue to challenge global life sciences companies as they try to navigate a new world of work, according to Deloitte’s global sector outlook report on life sciences. This will require a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent and human resources.
For search firms specializing in the sector, it is a trend has produced a wave of activity. The latest: The RSA Group has recruited Christian Jørgensen as the new CEO of Biotec Pharmacon ASA, a Norwegian biopharmaceutical company. He replaces Svein Lien who has resigned. Partner Thomas Schleimer led the search.
Mr. Jørgensen has an extensive background in global healthcare, having served as general manager for Baxter Healthcare in Western Europe, executive vice president at Coloplast and president for Hill-Rom’s European business.
“We are pleased to have been selected to support Biotec Pharmacon sourcing their new CEO,” said Mr. Schleimer. “Our deep specialization in life sciences enabled us to define the value proposition and attract executives with a background in medtech and wound care but also with an insight into B2B life sciences and alliance management.”
Evolving Dynamics of Recruiting In Life Sciences
As the life sciences sector evolves, this specialized area of executive recruiting is changing as well. For Adam Bloom, president of the Stevenson Group, his expanding role as talent evaluator has elevated in importance due to shifting market forces.
Erik Thorsen, chairman of the board for Biotec Pharmacon, said he expects Mr. Jørgensen to build on the success of his predecessor. “After Svein decided to resign as a CEO, the board thoroughly searched the Norwegian and the international market for suitable candidates to take the helm of Biotec,” he said. “We are therefore very pleased to announce Christian Jørgensen, who is a very experienced international leader of several biotech companies, as the new CEO.”
“We are confident that Christian will preserve and develop Biotec Pharmacon’s commercial opportunities further and will be a key driver of strategic initiatives that will enhance shareholder value going forward,” Mr. Thorsen said. “I would also like to thank Svein Lien for his efforts to build Biotec Pharmacon to become a valued player in the advanced enzyme business and to build a broad platform of opportunities with the beta-glucan technology.”
Biotec Pharmacon develops, manufactures and markets immune modulating compounds for the human health sectors and marine enzymes used in molecular biology. The company focuses on new solutions within wound care, cancer therapies and other immune related disease areas. It has a portfolio of patents covering marine gene products for the molecular biology sector, and products with potentials within the pharmaceutical sector.
Leadership Void: Change Agents Sought for Life Sciences Sector
Given the integration of technology into all facets of everyday life, the healthcare industry is not alone in facing technology-related issues. These take on increased importance when they impact health, disease diagnosis, treatment and, ultimately, human longevity.
The RSA Group, which is based in London, is focused on the life sciences, advising on the selection, assessment and onboarding of board and senior executive talent. The firm has offices in the U.S., the U.K., Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Singapore and China.
The firm recently had a change in leadership when Alex Bennett assumed the CEO role, taking over from Chris Molloy, who the firm to head up the U.K.-based Medicines Discovery Catapult, a not-for-profit innovation center.
Mr. Bennett has a strong record in senior-level life sciences executive search, specializing in medical devices and diagnostics. His most recent global leadership roles were with the now defunct CTPartners and DHR International, where he served as managing partner for its global medical devices & diagnostics business as well as its London office.
In April, RSA Group expanded to the U.S. with the additions of Matt Vossler and Shawn O’Connor as partners. Mr. Vossler supports the firm’s expansion in North America, continuing its commitment to serve clients globally. Joining the company from Heritage Partners, a firm that he co-founded, Mr. Vossler has worked across virtually all therapeutic areas and will collaborate closely with clients to build effective leadership teams. For over 10 years, Mr. O’Connor has led his own firm, Shawn O’Connor Executive Search, working exclusively in the life sciences sector. He has strong knowledge of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, diagnostics and medical devices in every specialization, from R&D to sales and marketing.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media