Myrtle Potter is recognized as one of America’s foremost healthcare leaders and innovators. She has dedicated three decades of service and leadership to America’s most successful global healthcare companies. She has leveraged her vast experience with large consumer health, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and non-profit companies to serve the needs of patients and consumers worldwide.
Potter founded Myrtle Potter Media, Inc. in 2007. Myrtle Potter Media Inc. is a consumer healthcare company that was formed to help consumers navigate the complex U.S. healthcare system on behalf of themselves and their families. Potter also operates Myrtle Potter and Company, LLC, a life science and healthcare consulting firm whose clients include for-profit and non-profit corporations and boards of directors. The focus of this firm is business strategy, licensing, acquisition, product development and commercialization.
Potter was president and chief operating officer of Genentech, Inc., where from 2000 to 2005, she helped steer the company through one of the most successful periods in its history. Genentech achieved record sales and earnings growth during each of the five years she led the company and sales grew more than five-fold to over $5 billion over the same period. Under her leadership the company launched seven breakthrough drugs including the blockbuster cancer treatment Avastin™ and Xolair™, the blockbuster treatment severe allergic asthma.
Prior, Potter was president of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $4 billion, 3500-person U.S. Cardiovascular/Metabolic business. In this role she led the launch of four drugs including the blockbuster anti-platelet medication Plavix™, making it the fastest growing product in the pharmaceutical industry and setting it on track to be the largest selling pharmaceutical product in the world. Prior to being named as president, she was group executive vice president of Worldwide Pharmaceuticals where she lead a team to redesign BMS research and development, and reduced R&D cycle time by 40 percent. She also innovated key measures for driving worldwide sales and marketing effectiveness. Both of these innovations are still used today.
Before working for BMS, Potter worked at Merck and Co Inc. for fourteen years where she began as a sales representative and quickly rose to the ranks of management. One of her first brand marketing jobs was for the anti-ulcer medicine Pepcid™. During her tenure at Merck, she established the new pharmaceutical company, Astra/Merck, Inc. that later merged with Zeneca to form the company AstraZeneca. Following that assignment, she directed the marketing of the blockbuster anti-ulcer medicine Prilosec™ and set it on course to become the largest selling pharmaceutical product in the world. Her last position at Merck was vice president of an $800 million U.S. pharmaceutical business unit.
Potter is on the board of directors of Medco Health Solutions, Inc, 3G Biotech, LLC and Everyday Health, Inc. She also served on the board of directors of Amazon.com from 2004 to 2009. Formerly she served on the advisory council to the dean of Stanford Business School.
Potter has been an on-air business contributor for CNBC since 2008. She is also a sought-after speaker on healthcare and business leadership topics.
Potter’s business and healthcare leadership has been hailed by America’s most influential business publications, including BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, FORTUNE magazine, TIME magazine, Forbes, Black Enterprise Magazine and The Harvard Business Review. Potter is also referenced in more than twenty business and leadership books including, The 100-Mile Walk – A Quest to Find the Essence of Leadership by Sander and Jonathan Flaum (2006); The One Thing by Marcus Buckingham (2005) and The Cycle of Leadership by Noel Tichy (2004).
Potter is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the mother of two young adults.