Our founder, Myrtle Potter, is one of America’s foremost healthcare leaders and innovators. She is currently serving at Roivant Sciences as Vant Operating Chair. Roivant Sciences is a global biopharmaceutical company that currently has over thirty-five investigational drugs in multiple therapeutic areas being tested in over fifty clinical trials across the Roivant family of companies. Formerly she also operated Myrtle Potter Media, a digital healthcare content company.
Myrtle was president and chief operating officer of Genentech, Inc. where, from 2000 to 2005, she led 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 products including Avastin™, the blockbuster cancer treatment. During her tenure she served on the Executive Committee of the Company and co-chaired the Product Portfolio Committee which made all investment and “go/no go” decisions for Genentech’s drug pipeline.
Prior to Genentech Myrtle was president of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $4 billion, 3500-person U.S. Cardiovascular and Metabolic business. Under her leadership, this business became the largest, fastest growing and most profitable of all BMS business units. In this role she led the launch of four drugs including the anti-platelet medication Plavix™, making it the fastest growing prescription drug in the industry and setting it on track to be the largest selling prescription drug in the world at that time. She also led the commercialization of Pravachol™ and the Glucophage™ franchise, both multi-billion-dollar businesses. Prior to being named president, she was group vice president of Worldwide Medicines Group where she led a team to successfully reduced BMS R&D cycle time by forty percent.
Myrtle began her biopharmaceutical career at Merck and Company, Inc. where she worked for fourteen years. During her time at Merck she established the new pharmaceutical company, Astra/Merck, Inc. Astra/Merck later merged with Zeneca to form the company AstraZeneca. Following that assignment she directed the marketing of the anti-ulcer medicine Prilosec™ and set it on course to become the largest selling prescription drug in the world at that time, and the first to reach $5 billion in sales. She also managed the commercialization of the anti-ulcer medication Pepcid™ and Merck’s leading portfolio of adult and pediatric vaccines. Her last position at Merck was vice president of an $800 million U.S. pharmaceutical business unit.
Myrtle serves on the board of directors of Myovant (Chairman), Urovant (Chairman), Axovant, Arbutus, Liberty Mutual Holding Company, Axsome, and a number of Roivant-owned, privately-held companies. She also serves on the University of Chicago Board of Trustees. Formerly she served on the boards of Amazon, FoxHollow Technologies, eV3, Medco Health Solutions, Express Scripts, Insmed and Rite Aid.
Myrtle was named to FORTUNE Magazine’s list of Most Powerful Women in Business on three separate occasions. Her business and leadership has been recognized by BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, FORTUNE Magazine, TIME Magazine, Forbes, Black Enterprise Magazine, Savoy and Harvard Business Review. Myrtle earned a B.A. from The University of Chicago.