If you're wondering what a next-generation IT leader looks like, look no further than Greg Meyers, vice president of IT at Biogen Idec, a $6 billion specialty pharmaceutical company based in Weston, Mass.
One of a new breed of IT executives, Meyers, 40, built his resume and developed his business chops outside of IT before being drawn to technology. In fact, half of Meyers' career was spent in marketing and sales before he made the leap to IT. Now, he's clearly found his niche.
"I'm passionate about technology and how it can drive the P&L," says Meyers. "I'm very fortunate to have found a career where I can do both."
And what better industry to be in if you want to press for fast technology change? In one recent project, the IT team developed state-of-the-art analytic functions that give visibility in real time on dozens of critical variables that affect the manufacturing process, such as pH and oxidation levels. "That capability has allowed us to save millions of dollars in avoiding wasted batches by intervening when needed," says Meyers.
Biogen Idec is also leveraging virtual communication channels to interact with its most important stakeholders virtually and on-demand. "Physicians have important questions affecting treatment decisions for patients that can now be answered in minutes instead of waiting days or weeks for an in-person meeting," says Meyers.
His boss, CIO Raymond Pawlicki, says Meyers' leadership style combines the best of both worlds. "Greg is business-driven, business-oriented, with great technical skills and very analytical. He's a thought leader," says Pawlicki. "That's his secret sauce: He has a foot in each camp. He's a technologist, with the other foot rooted in the business."