News Release

Lilly to Adjust Organization and Leadership Structure to Better Align with Growth Opportunities

January 5, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced a series of changes to its organization and leadership structure to better align them with the company's growth opportunities.

Explaining the need for these changes, David A. Ricks, Lilly's president and CEO, said, "Lilly begins 2017 with a clear view of its opportunities for growth in the years ahead. The adjustments we are announcing today to pharmaceutical therapeutic and geographic business areas are designed to maximize the potential of our late-stage pipeline and newly launched medicines, while improving productivity."

The company announced the following changes:

  • Christi Shaw has been hired to lead the company's Bio-Medicines business beginning April 3. Shaw will succeed Ricks, who became Lilly's president and CEO on January 1, as senior vice president and president of Lilly Bio-Medicines. Shaw, who started her career at Lilly in 1989, has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical and medical device experience.
  • Beginning on February 1, Lilly's Diabetes, Oncology and Bio-Medicines human pharmaceutical therapeutic business areas will assume commercial responsibility for their products in China—in addition to the U.S., Japanese and Canadian markets in which they already operate.
  • Lilly Diabetes will host the company's human pharmaceutical commercial operations in the United States, China, Japan and Canada. Enrique Conterno, senior vice president of Lilly and president of Lilly Diabetes, will assume additional responsibilities as president of Lilly USA.
  • Lilly's current Emerging Markets business will combine with Europe to form Lilly International, which will have commercial responsibility for the company's human pharmaceutical products in these markets. Alfonso (Chito) Zulueta, who has led the Emerging Markets business for the last three years, will be senior vice president of Lilly and president of Lilly International.
  • Sue Mahony, Ph.D., will continue as senior vice president of Lilly and president of Lilly Oncology.
  • Alex Azar, president of Lilly USA, has decided to leave Lilly to pursue other career opportunities.

These organizational changes are expected to increase productivity and simplify Lilly's global commercial organization. These changes will also result in a reduction in leadership positions. In December, the company announced reductions to its U.S. field force in anticipation of patent expirations for key products later this year and in response to clinical trial results on solanezumab.

"With new medicines recently launched—and potential new medicines in development for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, neurodegeneration, and pain—Lilly is in the early stages of a new growth period," said Ricks. "Now is the time to make sure that our organization is set up to make the most of these opportunities. With clear priorities and the right structure, achieving growth while improving our productivity will go hand-in-hand."

"I'm confident that these changes will help to increase the flow of innovation from our pipeline and maximize opportunities in priority therapeutic and geographic areas," Ricks said.

About Shaw and Azar
In her new role, Shaw will lead important areas of potential growth for Lilly—immunology, neurodegeneration, and pain, as well as many of the company's established brand products. 

"I'm excited to welcome Christi Shaw back to Lilly—where she started her career," Ricks said. "Throughout her career, Christi has produced strong results, built a reputation for accountability and showed compassion for patients. Her success in leading medical and commercial functions and her experience working with product development make her an ideal choice for Lilly Bio-Medicines. In addition, Christi brings the benefit of her external perspective to Lilly's leadership team."

Shaw worked at Lilly from 1989 to 2002 in sales and marketing roles. Most recently, she served as president of Novartis USA and previously as North American region head of Novartis Oncology. In the 2000s, she held a series of increasingly responsible roles in the Janssen and Ethicon subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson.

"It's wonderful to be home again at Lilly," Shaw said. "There's no place in our industry I'd rather be today. With its extraordinary portfolio and promising late-stage pipeline, Lilly is in a strong position to make life better for patients dealing with some of the most challenging diseases."

Ricks also commented, "I want to take this opportunity to thank Alex Azar for his contributions throughout his time at Lilly.  Over the past five years, Alex has very successfully led our largest affiliate through challenging times, delivering high employee engagement, customer loyalty, and business results. We are grateful for his leadership and wish him well in this next chapter of his professional life."

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and C-LLY

This press release contains forward-looking statements about the benefits of leadership changes and organizational structure adjustments within Lilly's human pharmaceutical business. It reflects Lilly's current beliefs; however, as with any such undertaking, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug development and commercialization. Among other things, there can be no guarantee that Lilly will realize the expected benefits of these adjustments or leadership changes. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, please see Lilly's latest Forms 10-Q and 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements.


Refer to:

Edward Sagebiel;; 317-985-6303 (Lilly)

Kelley Murphy;; 317-701-4007 (Lilly)


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