10 Things You Didn’t Know About AmerisourceBergen CEO Steven Collis

The merger of Bergen Brunswig and AmeriSource back in 2001 produced a heavyweight in the industry of pharmaceutical distribution—AmerisourceBergen. This drug wholesale company handles roughly 20% of the world’s pharmaceutical market and is one of the most successful American companies in terms of revenue. AmerisourceBergen’s President, CEO, and Director Steven H. Collins is tantamount to the success of the company, and here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the man in charge.

1. He’s a South African native.

Collis was born and raised in South Africa. He left the country back in 1998 and had only been back one other time in 2002. That time, he brought his family along for the first time and has not been back again.

2. He went to college in South Africa.

After hearing the name of his school, you’ll immediately get that it wasn’t in the US. Collis attended and received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The school is a public research university that’s also mostly known as Wits or Wits universities.

3. He worked at AmerisourceBergen for a while.

Collis worked for the company for about 18 years before he became the company’s CEO. He held various positions within the company starting with being hired as the Senior Vice President back in 2001. He worked his way up through the positions, climbing up along with the few changes that the company experienced over the years, until hi finally became the Chairman, President, and CEO of AmerisourceBergen.

4. He became CEO while he was still young.

There’s a growing trend of companies lately appointing younger CEOs. This could be a tactic towards longevity, or it could simply be a tactic towards trends. For AmerisourceBergen, hiring the next CEO was natural. Collis succeeded Yost after he left the position back in 2011. Yost was 54 years old when he became the CEO, while Collis was only 49 years old.

5. He’s board member to various organizations.

Apart from AmerisourceBergen, Collis is presently a board member to a couple other organizations. The first is called Mwi Veterinary Supply Inc. The next organization is the American National Red Cross. He was also a board member of Thoratec Corp from 2008 until 2015.

6. He supports the Affordable Care Act.

Collis’ view on healthcare is simple; he believes that Americans have more in common that what people think, and that healthcare really shouldn’t be a debate. This stems from his background of growing up in a completely different environment in South Africa. Collis believes in greater insurance coverage, which leads to better pharmaceutical care. All of these point to better access for patients—the most basic premise of the Affordable Care Act.

7. He’s a true family man.

Regardless of how successful he’s become as a CEO, Collis remains to be a family man at heart. Collis says that when he’s not working, he’s just with his family. He has a total of three children. One is about to go to college. He also has a 15-year old and a third grader. He loves spending time with his children and travels with them as often as possible.

8. He’s an avid golfer.

Collis loves to play golf; although, he claims that he’s no longer plays as well as he used to. He says he is a 16 or 17 handicapper on a good day. He plays golf with his youngest and tries to instill in him a love for the sport.

9. He looks for core values when it comes to employees.

Two things that are important to Collis when looking for a new hire are passion and integrity. He looks for people who have the confidence to carry on the job without the stint of arrogance. He believes that healthcare is one of the most humbling professions to be in, especially pharmaceuticals.

10. He asks for something in particular when it comes to interviews.

One other thing that Collis looks for in interview is some type of management experience that has made the biggest impact on the candidate. He believed that people’s track records should be a great indication of who they’ve become to this point in their careers. He believes in loyalty deeply.


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