10 Things You Didn’t Know About Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks

Eli Lilly and Company brought David A. Ricks on board January 1 of 2017 as their new Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer. He’s an executive who has had an interesting career serving at the helm of a few different industries. His forte is leadership and here are ten things worth knowing about David Ricks.

1. He didn’t start at the top of Eli Lilly

Ricks actually started his career with Lilly in 1996. He came on board as a business development associate. He had been with the company for 21 years before being promoted to the high ranking executive position. It took more than two decades of hard work and dedication, but he’s landed at the helm and he’s well equipped for the job thanks to the time he spent in lower divisions of management within the company.

2. He’s worked for Lilly in three different countries

David Ricks began his career with Lilly in the United States. He filled a variety of different management roles, involved with marketing and sales in the U.S. prior to being moved to Lilly Canada where he accepted the position of director of pharmaceutical marketing and was their national sales director. he was promoted from this position with the Canadian firm to their general manager. He continued with the company until his promotion to general manager and president of Lilly China.

3. David Ricks was brought back to America for a promotion

After putting in several years in Canada and China, Lilly brought him back to the United States after leading the Lilly China company as general manager and president. His new post in the company began in 2012 where he served as the president of the Lilly company’s Bio-Medicines until 2016. Ricks has an impressive resume that shows his forward progression with the company as he moved from one success to another and received numerous promotions to higher posts.

4. He attended an Ivy league school

David Ricks attended Purdue University where he earned his undergraduate degree. He studied in business and completed his bachelor’s of science degree in that discipline. He knew that he would need a higher level of education to pursue his professional goals so he went on to enroll at Indiana University in 1996 where he earned his MBA.

5. He didn’t start out in pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry which Ricks is now an executive officer wasn’t his first career choice. Prior to his long and successful involvement with Lilly, he worked in a completely different industry. He actually worked for the Hewlett-Packard Company. He also worked for IBM prior to joining Lilly.

6. He believes that community involvement is important

Dave doesn’t just spend his time leading the cause of Lilly, although it’s a priority for him. He also dedicates time serving on a variety of boards. He’s a member of Adobe, the Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) as well as the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. He’s doing his part to keep a foot in the door with these important organizations that keep him informed about what’s going on in these industries and he regularly offers his input and professional expertise.

7. He cares about kids

David is involved with the Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors as the chair. This is something that is close to his heart. It is no secret for those who know him that he has a heart for the kids, and he’s active in promoting causes that benefit children’s health initiatives.

8. He believes changing patient expectations will give them more hope

The nation has been going through a series of upsets and disruptions with quality healthcare availability in question. Debilitating diseases leave so many suffering and Ricks has a vision for finding the answers to these problems through research and the development of new treatments and cures through Lilly. One of his goals is to give people new hope and to encourage them to expect more from the industry.

9. Ricks has a sense of urgency

If you take the time to listen to some of the interviews that David Ricks has given, you’ll find that he’s not only a top-notch leader, he has a passion that drives his deep commitment to move quickly. While it does take time to develop new healthcare solutions, he’s a driver that’s pushing hard. You’ll hear him repeat a statement frequently when addressing the end stakeholder for Lilly, which is the patient. He repeats “the patient is waiting.” He doesn’t like to keep people waiting.

10. He maintains transparency

David Ricks isn’t just talk. He maintains a presence on social media where he posts regular updates. He wants to keep people informed about the progress that Lilly is making on relevant topics. He posts information for everyone to see on Instagram and LinkedIn where you can follow him to stay current on new developments and what’s coming up in the near future.


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