Embracing Our Future: Lilly Announces New CEO


President John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” With the spirit of embracing change in mind, the company is pleased to announce today that Lilly is moving wholeheartedly into our company’s future. At the end of this year, John Lechleiter will retire as Lilly’s CEO, to be succeeded by Dave Ricks. Dave, currently a senior vice president at Lilly and the president of our Bio-Medicines group, will become CEO on January 1, 2017.

We’ve been honored to have John at Lilly’s helm for the last eight years. His steady leadership has carried our company through periods both challenging and successful, and has helped to build a strong and promising pipeline. This upcoming transition in leadership mirrors Lilly’s move after 140 years as a company into a new era of discovery and growth.

A 20-year Lilly veteran, Dave brings a wealth of global experience to his new role, as he has previously led Lilly affiliates in the U.S., China, and Canada. And, he has immersed himself  in numerous facets of the business, including product development, global sales and marketing, and public policy. Since January 2012, he has served as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, overseeing the development of about half of Lilly’s late-stage pharmaceutical pipeline. He is also active in Lilly’s corporate responsibility efforts, having served as the chair of United Way of Central Indiana’s 2015 annual campaign.

Over the next six months, John and Dave will work closely together to assure a smooth handover of leadership. Dave will lead 2017’s business planning, with an eye to ensuring that Lilly continues to deliver better and better medicines to the patients who need them—and in so doing, also benefits employees, communities and shareholders.

“I’m incredibly proud of Lilly and the people who work here—each of us playing an important part in making life better for people around the world through our medicines,” Dave says. “Together, in the years ahead, we can meet and even exceed the high expectations that patients, doctors, health care payers and the rest of society have of Lilly.” Today and in the future, we’re committed to our promise to make life better for people around the world.