John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., has served as president and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company since April 1, 2008. He became chairman of the board of directors on January 1, 2009.
Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development and became head of that department in 1982. In 1984, he began serving as director of pharmaceutical product development for the Lilly Research Centre Limited in Windlesham, England.
He returned to the United States in 1986 as manager of research and development projects for Europe. In 1988, he became director of development projects management, and he assumed additional responsibility for pharmaceutical regulatory affairs the following year. In 1991, Lechleiter was named executive director of pharmaceutical product development, and he became vice president in 1993. He was appointed vice president of regulatory affairs in 1994, was named vice president for development and regulatory affairs in 1996, and became senior vice president of pharmaceutical products in 1998.
In 2001, Lechleiter was appointed executive vice president for pharmaceutical products and corporate development. In 2004, he became Lilly’s executive vice president for pharmaceutical operations. And in 2005, he was named president and chief operating officer and joined the board of directors.
Lechleiter received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1975. He subsequently studied organic chemistry as a National Science Foundation Fellow at Harvard University, where he received his master’s and doctorate degrees in 1980. Lechleiter has received honorary doctorates from Marian University (Indianapolis, Indiana), the University of Indianapolis, the National University of Ireland, and Indiana University.
Lechleiter is a member of the American Chemical Society and Business Roundtable. He serves on the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), as president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), as chairman of the U.S.-Japan Business Council, and on the boards of United Way Worldwide, Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio), the Life Sciences Foundation, and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. He also serves on the boards of Nike, Inc. and Ford Motor Company.