Joe Papa joined the company in May 2016 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He has more than 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, health care and specialty pharmaceutical industries, including 20 years of branded prescription drug experience. He was CEO of Perrigo Company since 2006 and was appointed chairman in 2007. He resigned from all positions at Perrigo in April 2016. Prior to Perrigo, Papa served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Health’s Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services business unit (2004 – 2006). He was President and Chief Operating Officer of Watson Pharmaceuticals (2001 – 2004), President of Global Country Operations for Pharmacia’s North American business (2000-2001) and President of Searle’s U.S. Operations (1997-2000). Prior to Searle/Pharmacia, Papa served in a variety of general management, sales, marketing and R&D positions during his 15-year career at Novartis Pharmaceuticals (1983-1997). During his pharmaceutical industry career, he led teams that successfully launched several blockbuster pharmaceutical products including Lotrel, Diovan and Celebrex, and is the patent holder for a cardiovascular combination treatment containing Amlodipine and Benazepril.
In October 2014, Harvard Business Review ranked Papa 47th on its “2014 Best Performing CEOs in the World.” He was also recognized on Israel-based Calcalist Magazine’s “Best Chief Executive Officer for the Year” list for 2013 and 2014. Additionally, Papa was named one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s magazine in 2012, which noted Perrigo “generated one of the best shareholder returns in the S&P 500 in the past five years.”
He is a past member of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors and currently serves on the Smith & Nephew Board of Directors, where he also serves as chairman of the Remuneration Committee.
Papa holds a BS in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In 2012, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy.