Why The Innovators Are Leaving Big Pharma
August 31, 2016
Top life science talent didn’t spend years getting their Ph.D. to become the recipient of innovation rather than the innovators.
Big Pharma brands are increasingly further from the cutting edge of pharmaceutical discovery, and there have recently been a wave of leaders taking the leap into the innovative world of Biotech start-ups. Previously, this would have been viewed as a risky move, but with external investment in Biotech still at record levels, the talent is following the money to put its head where the heart is.
For an executive with a stellar corporate career, leading a tiny biotech start-up can be hugely exciting, and the risk / reward dilemma is increasingly tipping in favour of the potential rewards on offer – i.e. making that breakthrough innovation. These executives may well have their Big Pharma track record to fall back on if things don’t go to plan, but the really interesting development is that mid-to-senior-level talent is also increasingly making the leap. Career development in the big corporates is increasingly horizontal, and the 3-5 year cycles of reorganisation also have their impact.
This is a trend that is by no means confined to the pharmaceutical industry. Executives across all sorts of industries are taking control of their own destinies as entrepreneurs rather than corporate yes-men. It is still a scary step to make when you have a mortgage and a family, but the social proof of their success is obvious on social media. The rewards are there if you are brave enough to make that first step into the unknown.
The risks of moving to a start-up cannot be discounted entirely, but the job satisfaction and potential rewards are increasingly worth it for many.