From sales to leadership
3rd September 2016 | Deirdre Coleman
Tim Walbert, CEO, Horizon Pharma, explains how doing right by the patient can still lead to significant profits, but hiring the right sort of sales representatives is crucial.
Tim Walbert helped to launch two of the world’s biggest-selling drugs, Humira and Celebrex, and is now in charge of a $3 billion company with big ambitions – plus he knows what it is like to be a patient at the sharp end.
That is quite a track record. Walbert started his pharmaceutical career in sales and believes that has given him the best possible grounding for leadership: the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Pharma recalls his early days on the road with some affection.
“When you come through pharma sales, you deal with rejection,” he laughs. “You spend most of your time in your car, by yourself. When people say: ‘Hey! I’m a people person – I want to be in sales,’ they don’t realise you’re not spending that much time with people. It’s a very brief period of time you get with the customer.”