BELS Brief Chats #6 – John Young

John Young, Chief Business Officer at Pfizer, is that increasing rarity in today’s world, a one-company man who has never even interviewed elsewhere. John shares his journey from being raised in rural Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and schooled in Lockerbie, to studying biological sciences at Glasgow University, doing postgrad work at Strathclyde University, to deciding the lab was not going to be his domain and taking a job in sales with Pfizer, where he has grown and been challenged every since.  After an initial 15 years of increasing seniority in sales roles, he expanded to marketing and then to more general senior management roles.  His international career eventually took him to New York and his current position as CBO in the senior Pfizer management team where he played a pivotal role in the vaccine developed with BioNtech that was first cleared in the UK.  John sees an important role for BELS involving the themes of collaboration and relationships.

Science is highly democratic and we see the scientific ecosystem as being global. Pfizer is agnostic about where science comes from in terms of which country, company, university, or within our own walls. I’m a passionate advocate for the benefits of the NHS. The UK has many great ingredients. Its enormous positives include a strong academic system and the NHS which in terms of executing clinical studies has one of the most effective environments to deliver in a timely manner.  No one country has all the ingredients perfectly optimized.”