Saying he has "huge shoes to fill," the incoming chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) says, as the company enters a new phase, its commitment to central Indiana has never been stronger. Dave Ricks, a 20-year Lilly veteran, was last week named to succeed John Lechleiter as the drug maker transitions to an "era of new growth." Ricks says Indiana will benefit from the potential launch of 20 new products by 2024. "As has been shown in the past, as Lilly rises, so can many other partners we have in the community," said Ricks. "Whether they be suppliers, nonprofits or the education system that we work with and rely on for new recruits."
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Ricks was quick to praise Lecheleiter, whom he described as a friend and mentor. "We have gone from a drought of innovation to where we can launch 20 products over a ten year period… and John Lechleiter is responsible for that."
At last week’s announcement, Lechleiter called it a "logical time" to make the change, as the company continues to navigate the aftermath of a string of patent expirations. "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."
Ricks will assume the role of president and chief executive officer on January 1 and will become chairman of the board June 1.