“I encourage my team to challenge conventional thinking and to continuously improve”
Gregg DeRosa leads Global Clinical Operations at Teva, responsible for generics and biosimilar clinical development across the globe. Despite broad responsibilities in widely dispersed geographies, Gregg prioritizes time with his team to ensure they remain connected and feel empowered. Gregg talks with us about his leadership style and a memorable moment from his past that, to this day, instills pride in him about working at Teva.
Working at Teva is special to me. In addition to the people – who are truly incredible and some of the smartest, kindest and top-caliber professionals I have met in my entire career – an encounter I had in the early 2000s stands out in my mind. I was at a Generic Pharmaceutical Association conference where a speaker was delivering a presentation on the generics industry. He went on and on about how amazing Teva was in the industry as a generics manufacturer, creating access to medicines for people all over the world. This speaker extolled the value Teva was bringing to patients’ lives with affordable, high-quality medicines as if he was a cheerleader for our company. The amount of pride I felt in that moment to work at such an exceptional company is something that has remained with me throughout my long career at Teva.
Running our clinical operations efficiently and according to the highest quality standards are always priorities. Executing our processes extremely well while consistently striving to be more time-efficient and cost-effective requires a continuous improvement mindset. There’s always a better way. For Teva to grow and be competitive in this fast-paced, ever-changing environment, we need to continually change the operational aspects of how we conduct clinical development. I encourage my team to challenge conventional thinking, find new ways to complete old tasks, and feel empowered to continuously improve.
You need a good team to succeed in drug development. Science is based on facts learned through experiments and observation. It takes a great deal of teamwork to learn and discern complexities before finding the solution. And we’re always competing against time, aiming to accelerate development timelines while building more efficiencies into the process. Experience shows me that collaborating with teams up and down the value chain can help move the ball faster, as people at different points in the process have a different purview and see things differently.
We will continue to face and overcome challenges together. What the world experienced during the global pandemic was unbelievable. We adapted to circumstances no one could have imagined. The pandemic forced us to develop a new mindset - we had no choice – and good has come from it. We are more collaborative, more resourceful, more resilient; a better organization. We accomplished so much and barely missed a beat. I think using the skills we learned can help us further improve.
A good leader gives it to you straight. To my way of thinking, honesty and transparency are two of the most important leadership traits. Obviously, being truthful, sincere and acting with integrity is right and respectful for people at every level of the organization. Being honest and open while also being direct can be tough, especially under difficult circumstances. That is why it is so important to cultivate an environment where people know failure is part of the learning process. We make a mistake, OK. Let’s learn from it and move on.
Ongoing investment in our people and capabilities is essential. Ensuring we dedicate time to both individual development and team scientific interactions is paramount to cultivating a continuous improvement mindset. Because we run a lean operation, making time for professional development is tough. I encourage our people to prioritize themselves and designate time for individual development.
I am a history lover and just finished the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The book is about the cabinet assembled by US President Lincoln for his first term in office, an extremely trying time in US history. Lincoln chose individuals who were chief political competitors and rivals. By bringing together the most talented leaders -- whether friend or foe -- he believed he would get the best advice and diverse points of view. Despite most of these advisors thinking very little of him as a leader, through sheer will, determination, charm and political savvy, Lincoln eventually turned them from opponents to collaborators.
Lincoln said he had no other ambition so great “as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.” In my mind, this is a notion we should all strive to achieve.
Outside of work, I spend most of my time with my family – my wife, 27-year-old son and 25-year-old daughter. They are my pride and joy. I am very close with my extended family as well.
I love to travel. One of my most favorite places to visit is the Naples region of Italy. I fell in love with the whole area, and the locals even recognized my surname and asked if I had people there. I will have to go back and look for them!
Find out more
- Meet Paula Turner who runs Teva’s dedicated clinical trials facility in Florida, where medicines are tested for safety and efficacy before they receive regulatory approval.
- Teva is a leading, global provider of high-quality, affordable medicines for nearly every health condition. Meet the people and hear the stories behind those medicines.
- Would you like to be part of our team, helping to improve patients’ lives? Visit our Careers page