Daniel Vasella
Daniel Vasella

Daniel Lucius Vasella, M.D. (born 15 August 1953) is a medical doctor, author, and executive who served as CEO and chairman of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, the world’s fifth largest drug company. During his tenure the Novartis shares declined 10%, below the industry.

In November 2014, Vasella was elected as a member of the Board of Directors at XBiotech, Inc., a Biopharmaceutical Company located in Austin, TX that focuses on the discovery and commercialization of a next generation of therapeutic antibodies which harness a human’s natural immunity to fight disease. Vasella is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, Time magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and he was chosen as the Most Influential European Business Leader of the Last 25 Years by the readers of the Financial Times. He is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.


Vasella held a number of medical positions in Switzerland before being hired in 1988 by Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corporation, the former U.S. subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical company, Sandoz. He remained there until 1992, when he was promoted to CEO of parent company, Sandoz Pharma Ltd., and named a member of the Group Executive Committee.

Vasella helped to orchestrate the 1996 merger between Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, another Swiss pharmaceutical company. The two companies combined to form Novartis AG. Vasella was appointed CEO of the combined entity and a member of the Board of Directors. In 1999, he was named Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In January 2010, Vasella decided to step down as CEO. He was replaced by his hand-picked successor, Joseph Jimenez, the Division Head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals at the time.

In January 2013, Novartis announced that Vasella would be retiring as Chairman of the Board of Directors in February 2013. Vasella was named an honorary chairman, to be succeeded by Jörg Reinhard in August 2013. According to the Ethos foundation Vasella earned from 2002 until 2012 312 Mio CHF from Novartis, and for the years before they estimated it to 60 Mio CHF, a total of 421 Mio CHF in 2013. That he should get 72 Mio CHF for a noncompetition clause at the end made him a public figure during the campaign for the Swiss referendum “against rip-off salaries”.


Vasella authored Magic Cancer Bullet: How a Tiny Orange Pill May Rewrite Medical History (2003), a book about the discovery and development of the breakthrough cancer drug Gleevec. The book was co-written with Robert Slater.

Personal life:

Vasella met Anne-Laurence Moret, the niece of former Sandoz CFO, CEO, and chairman Marc Moret, in 1973, and they were married in 1978. Vasella and his wife have two grown sons and a daughter. His older brother, Andrea Vasella, was a professor at the ETH Zurich. Vasella is a patron of the arts and enjoys skiing and spending time outdoors.

Awards and recognition:

Vasella has received numerous awards for his humanitarian efforts, corporate philanthropy work, and his leadership in the Pharmaceutical industry. They include:

2003: Harvard Alumnus Award:

2004: Most Influential European Business Leader of the Last 25 Years by the readers of Financial Times
2004: Time magazine: One of the Top 100 Most Influential Personalities
2004: The Cancer Research Institute’s Oliver R. Grace Award (for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research)
University of Marburg’s Karl Winnacker Preis 2007
Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2008
GILD Award for Leadership: Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership 2010

David C. Novak
David C. Novak

David Colin Novak (born 1953) is an American businessman. He is the executive chairman of YUM! Brands Inc.



Novak received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He served as an account supervisor on Frito-Lay products (Doritos and Tostitos) for Tracy-Locke Advertising in Dallas, TX before becoming the VP of all F-L products at the agency. Novak is a Christian and has been a member of Southeast Christian church.


Novak served as Yum! Brand’s chief executive officer (CEO) from 1999 – January 1, 2015. He served as Chief Operating Officer of Pepsi-Cola North America, and Executive Vice President of Marketing and National Sales for the Pepsi-Cola Company.

Novak is credited with the invention of Crystal Pepsi.

Novak has been an Independent Director of JPMorgan Chase & Co. since 2001. He also serves as a Director of Bank One Corporation. He was named 2012 Chief Executive of the Year by Chief Executive magazine.

In 2016, Novak launched OGO (O Great One!]) Enterprises, the “world’s first recognition brand” on a mission to convince people of the usefulness of recognizing what others have done and close what he has dubbed the “global recognition deficit.”


Novak, David C. (2012), Taking People with You, Portfolio Hardcover, ISBN 1591844541
Novak, David C. (2016), O Great One! A Little Story About the Power of Recognition, Portfolio Hardcover, ISBN 0399562060

David S. Taylor
David S. Taylor

David Scott Taylor is an American business executive who is P&G’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Early life:

David Taylor was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, and graduated from Duke University in 1980 with a B.S. in electrical engineering.


Upon graduation, he joined Procter & Gamble as a production manager. Taylor spent the first decade of his career in P&G’s Product Supply organization, where he managed production and operations at a number of plants, eventually managing P&G’s manufacturing plant in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania. This experience gave him hands-on understanding of manufacturing, logistics, engineering, and supply chain operations.

In the early 1990s, Taylor was transferred to the brand management department, his first assignment being Pampers—P&G’s largest brand. Since then, he has held leadership roles spanning a number of P&G businesses, including Baby Care, Hair Care, Family Care, and Home Care in which he expanded businesses across North America, Western Europe, and Asia. He also led P&G’s Greater China hair care business for nearly four years.

Taylor also served as Group President of P&G’s Beauty Sector and P&G’s Grooming and Health Care Sector which included the brands of Crest, Oral-B, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Olay, SK-II, Gillette, Fusion, Mach 3, and Vicks.

Outside interests:

Earlier in his career, Taylor was vice chair of the Greater China Quality Brand Protection Committee, a collaboration between top companies and the Chinese government. He has also served as a director of P&G’s joint venture with Clorox. Taylor served on the Board of Directors for Feeding America for eight years, including two years as board chair. He continues to serve as a member of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank. In addition, Taylor is a member of the Board of Visitors at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

David Simon
David Simon

David E. Simon is chairman and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, an S&P 500 company and the largest U.S. publicly traded real estate company.

Early life and education:

Simon is the son of Jewish American real estate developer Melvin Simon and his first wife Bess (née Meshulam).He obtained a B.S. degree from Indiana University in 1983 and an M.B.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in 1985.


Simon started his career at First Boston. From 1988 to 1990, he worked at Wasserstein Perella & Co. as a vice president.

He joined Simon Property precursor Melvin Simon & Associates in 1990 as Chief Financial Officer. In 1993, he led the efforts to take Simon Property Group public with a nearly $1 billion initial public offering that, at the time, was the largest real estate stock offering. He became CEO in 1995 and Chairman in 2007.

He is a member and former chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) board of governors and is a former trustee of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He has received numerous industry honors, and in 2000, he was inducted into the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Academy of Alumni Fellows.


In 2013, he donated $5 million support the construction Columbia Business School’s new facilities.

Personal life:

In 1986, he married Jacqueline Susan Freed. They have five children: Eli, Rebecca, Hannah, Samuel, and Noah.

Donald Graham
Donald Graham

Donald Edward Graham (born April 22, 1945) is Chairman of Graham Holdings Company. He is also the lead independent director of Facebook’s board of directors.

Early life:

Donald Edward Graham was born on April 22, 1945. His parents were Katharine Graham (née Meyer), later a publisher of The Washington Post, and her husband, Philip Graham. His maternal grandmother, Agnes Meyer, was a German Lutheran. His maternal grandfather, Eugene Meyer, was German Jewish and descended from a rabbinical family in Strasbourg. He bought the bankrupt Post shortly after stepping down as Chairman of the Federal Reserve in mid-1933. His mother was baptized as a Lutheran but attended an Episcopal church.

Graham graduated from St. Albans School and then attended Harvard College. In 1965, he was elected president of The Harvard Crimson, the college’s breakfast daily. After graduation in 1966, he volunteered for military service and served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. There “he worked as an information specialist with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968.” From January 1969 to June 1970, Graham joined the Washington Metropolitan Police Department as a

patrolman and was sent to the Ninth Precinct in Northeast Washington. Graham excelled as a patrolman, despite the harsh conditions of the Ninth Precinct.

Personal life:

In 1967, Graham married Mary Wissler. Wissler earned a law degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s from Harvard-Radcliffe, where she met Graham. She is a research fellow at the Kennedy School’s Taubman Center at Harvard focusing on such issues as health and safety regulations. In 2007, they announced that they were separating. The Grahams have four grown children, including:

Laura Graham O’Shaughnessy is the Chief Executive Officer at Socialcode.
Will Graham is the executive producer of The Onion News Network.
Molly Graham is an executive with Quip.

On June 30, 2012, he married Amanda Bennett, a senior editor at Bloomberg News, a former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and a colleague from the Pulitzer Prize Board.