Joseph Jimenez

Joseph Jimenez
CEO, Novartis AG

Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland
Primary Business: Healthcare
Revenues: $50.6 billion
Employees: 119,000

Making Diversity and Inclusion a Priority

I think that all global organizations need to make diversity and inclusion a priority not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it makes good business sense. It drives innovation, attracts top talent and enriches a company’s culture. At Novartis, our affiliates operate in more than 140 countries, so our customer base and the patient populations we serve are quite diverse. Our workforces need to reflect this diversity so that we can effectively develop solutions that fulfill their needs.

In particular, as we build our presence in emerging markets, we need to better understand the needs and deliver appropriate solutions for customers in these countries. Novartis created a program called BOOST, which provides emerging market leaders with mentors and career development tools to help them succeed. Also, our Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (ELP) sends top talent to emerging markets to participate in a cross-cultural, experience-based learning program. The ELP exposes associates to health challenges within local markets and broadens their awareness of issues facing our patients and customers. Throughout the program, the teams bring together their diverse viewpoints to generate valuable solutions for our business.

Lastly, I’ve personally driven the creation of another leadership development program for associates in emerging markets called LEAD. LEAD combines business and leadership seminars with hands-on learning to help enhance each associate’s knowledge of other markets. The group recently traveled to Kerala, India where we examined local public health achievements and gathered key findings that we can use to improve patient outcomes in every country.

At Novartis, we believe that diversity and inclusion means welcoming the unique perspectives of all Group Company associates to help accelerate our innovation and growth. Therefore, we have built a culture where diverse viewpoints and varied work and life experiences are valued.

This commitment to diversity and inclusion makes the Novartis Group a more inspiring, satisfying place to work for our associates. And it can help us achieve our goal of becoming the most respected and successful healthcare company in the world.

Education: BA, Stanford University; MBA, University of California, Berkeley
First Job: Started career at Clorox after MBA
What I’m Reading:Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
My Philosophy: The best leaders have humility and a relentless will to win.
Best Advice: Learn how to listen
Family: Wife, three children
Interests: Swimming, fly-fishing
Favorite Charity: Eradicating malaria is a cause I’m very passionate about as it is a preventable and treatable disease. However, nearly one million people die from malaria each year, most being children under age five. I’m really proud of our work at Novartis to distribute antimalarial medicine without profit to patients in the developing world.