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Zoetis CEO Alaix enters Animal Pharm's new Hall of Fame

Juan Ramón Alaix is the first entrant into Animal Pharm's new Hall of Fame.

The Zoetis chief executive is perhaps the most influential person in the animal health sector, as he guides the industry's largest firm.

Juan-Ramon Alaix

He has been instrumental in transforming the company from a segment of Pfizer to a dynamic standalone animal health multinational with more than 9,000 employees. Mr Alaix fronted Zoetis as it went public and has since established himself as one of the most recognized faces in the industry.

From an Animal Pharm perspective, he is an open and engaging chief executive. His presentations on analyst calls or at investor conferences and animal health forums show his depth of knowledge on a whole host of subjects related to animal health, agriculture, finance and economics.

He is highly thought of by his colleagues at Zoetis and also by those at competitor companies – a sign of the respect he holds in animal health.

Career to date

Originally from Barcelona, Mr Alaix graduated in economics from the Universidad de Madrid. He then embarked on a career that has, so far, provided him with 35 years of experience in finance, sales and management. This includes 21 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

Hall of Fame

Click here to see the Animal Pharm's new Hall of Fame.

Mr Alaix also recently spoke to Animal Pharm in an exclusive interview about the current animal health market trends, career choices and his motivation as a chief executive. 

In the 1990s, he held general management roles with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer in Spain and Belgium, before becoming country president of Spain for Pharmacia in 1998. He then joined Pfizer from Pharmacia in 2003 as a regional president. Before heading up Zoetis, he was the president of Pfizer Animal Health from 2006.

Aside from these roles, Mr Alaix completed a two-year term as president of the International Federation for Animal Health (now known as HealthforAnimals) in 2013. He continues to serve as a member of the HealthforAnimals board and executive committee.

In 2018, Mr Alaix was presented with the Deming Cup for Operational Excellence at the Columbia Business School's W Edwards Deming Center in New York.

Zoetis colleagues' reaction

Catherine Knupp, Zoetis executive vice president and president of R&D, said: "Throughout his career in animal health, Juan Ramón has been a leading advocate for innovation in our industry. At Zoetis, we are grateful for his unwavering commitment to the development of solutions that enable the success of our customers. I can think of no one more deserving than Juan Ramon to be the inaugural inductee to the Hall of Fame."

Roxanne Lagano, Zoetis executive vice president and chief human resources officer and communications, added: "Juan Ramón has been the driving force behind the creation of the world's leading animal health company and instrumental in establishing our industry as an attractive opportunity for investors.

"For those of us at Zoetis, he has built a results-driven culture and instilled a sense of ownership in all our colleagues. We could not be prouder to see him honored in the Hall of Fame. His strategic vision, steady hand and customer focus continue to keep Zoetis on a course for future success."

George Gunn on Juan Ramón Alaix

Other inductees to the Hall of Fame include previous winners of the Animal Pharm Lifetime Achievement Award such as George Gunn – the founder and chief executive of Stonehaven Consulting – who was commended for his contribution across several roles in the sector, including chief executive of Novartis Animal Health.

Dr Gunn said: "I first met Juan Ramón way back in 2000, when he was head of Spain for Pharmacia and I was global head of animal health for the same company. Three years later we were both recipients of the chairman's leadership award at Pharmacia. I remember the award ceremony where we were both present, which was hosted by Fred Hassan – a very nice day indeed.

"We went our separate ways. I chose not to stay with Pfizer and Juan Ramón stayed. The rest is history. We have stayed in touch throughout that time. He is a great guy, has done a superb job at Zoetis and thoroughly deserves this accolade."

More Hall of Famers to come

Virbac's former chairman Éric Marée is another previous winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award and will also enter the Animal Pharm Hall of Fame.

Animal Pharm has replaced its Lifetime Achievement Award with the Hall of Fame in order to commemorate a wider range of hard-working individuals. Animal Pharm will be announcing more entrants throughout the year.

The Hall of Fame is open to anyone – from leaders to innovators to entrepreneurs – who has had a lasting impact on the industry during the past or present.

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