CBE Raymond G. Thorpe Distinguished Lecture: Craig Wheeler, Former President and CEO, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc.




The Power of Purpose Purpose will find us, if we are open to it. Purpose is far more meaningful than simply getting something done. In this talk, Craig will ask us to reflect on these essential questions: How do we recognize the moments when purpose emerges?How can purpose become both a motivator and a leadership tool throughout our careers?How can purpose yield dividends, personally and professionally, far beyond the investment required of us?Craig will invite us to reflect on these questions by sharing stories from his career. BIO: Mr. Wheeler is the recently retired CEO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. He joined Momenta as CEO in September of 2006, soon after the company’s initial IPO. In October 2020 he concluded his tenure as CEO when the company was acquired by J&J for $6.5 B. As CEO, he led the company through the launch of its first complex generic drug products, including the first generic versions of LOVENOX® and once-daily COPAXONE®. He has overseen the company’s growth into a leading biotech focused on developing novel biologic therapies for rare auto-immune disease. In 2011, he was an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Award winner. In May 2012, the Boston Globe named Momenta the number one company in their annual Globe 100 survey of top performing companies. Prior to joining Momenta, Mr. Wheeler was President of Chiron BioPharmaceuticals where during his five-year tenure the pharmaceutical division’s global sales more than doubled. Before that, he was a senior member of The Boston Consulting Group’s health care practice and worked extensively in the health care sector. He began his career at Merck’s MSDRL research unit. Mr. Wheeler is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Amicus Therapeutics, where he serves as Chairman of the Science Committee. He previously was on the board of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), where he served as Chairman from 2014 to February 2016. He also previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Avanir Pharmaceuticals where he helped oversee the transition of the company from a research-based platform to a fully integrated CNS pharmaceutical company until 2015 when it was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals for $3.5 billion. At Cornell he currently serves as the vice-chair of the Engineering College Council as well as serving as a longtime member of the advisory board for biomedical engineering.