Skip to Content
Krannert Purdue Logo

News Features

Purdue alum Dave Ricks to become president and CEO at Eli Lilly

Dave Ricks

INDIANAPOLIS, July 27, 2016 -- Eli Lilly and Company today announced that David A. Ricks, an alumnus of Purdue's Krannert School of Management and currently senior vice president and president, Lilly Bio-Medicines, will succeed John C. Lechleiter as president and CEO and join the board on January 1, 2017, and become chairman of the board on June 1, 2017.

"As Lilly transitions from our recent challenging period of patent expirations to a new era of growth, it is the logical time for a transition in company leadership," Lechleiter said. "Dave Ricks is a capable, decisive and energetic leader who is very well prepared to succeed me as CEO. He brings to the role broad experience in Lilly's commercial operations along with an appreciation and understanding of research and development. He is well respected inside and outside the company, consistently builds exceptional teams, and sets high standards of performance. He will provide outstanding leadership for our company in the coming years."

"The prospect of leading Eli Lilly and Company is at the same time humbling and tremendously exciting," Ricks said. "Patients, physicians, health-care payers, and society as a whole expect a great deal from us.  Together with my Lilly colleagues around the world, I look forward to meeting these expectations and, whenever we can, exceeding them.

"Lilly has the right strategy. We've built a strong pipeline and have a promising portfolio of recently approved new medicines. Navigating major patent expirations in recent years, we've sharpened our focus and improved our vigilance and agility," Ricks continued. "Now, we must realize our growth potential in an increasingly challenging global marketplace. We must focus on delivering better and better medicines to the patients who need them, and in so doing, benefit our employees, communities and shareholders alike."

Since January 2012, Ricks has served as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, which encompasses the therapeutic areas of Alzheimer's disease, urology, immunology, musculoskeletal disease, and pain, as well as the company's global marketing function. Ricks serves on the board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and has served as co-chair of the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue.

After joining Lilly in 1996 as a business development associate, Ricks held several management roles in U.S. marketing and sales before moving to Lilly Canada, where he served successively as director of pharmaceutical marketing, national sales director, and general manager.  He was subsequently named president and general manager of Lilly China before becoming president of Lilly USA in 2009.

Ricks earned a bachelor's degree in industrial management from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management in 1990. He chairs the Board of Governors for the Riley Children's Foundation and in 2015 chaired the United Way of Central Indiana's annual campaign. Ricks also sits on the executive board of the Crossroads of America Council of Boy Scouts of America, and on the Advisory Board of the Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.

"In nearly five years as president of Lilly's Bio-Medicines business, Dave Ricks has demonstrated the ability to successfully lead a large global organization engaged in all facets of our business," said Ellen Marram, president of The Barnegat Group and Lilly's lead independent director. "His experience in the areas of product development, global sales and marketing as well as public policy will ensure continuity and will enable him to lead the company in an ever more complex environment going forward."

To learn more about Lilly and Ricks' appointment, visit www.lilly.com and newsroom.lilly.com/social-channels.

Source: Edward Sagebiel; egs@lilly.com; 317-985-6303