"I want to stay with STADA for the long term." – An interview with Peter Goldschmidt

  • 12/20/2018
  • Interview

Peter Goldschmidt has been the new CEO at STADA since September. In this interview he talks about his first time at STADA and his values.

Mr. Goldschmidt, you have been CEO of STADA for more than twelve weeks now. How are you doing?

GOLDSCHMIDT: I am doing very well, thank you very much! I was very warmly welcomed by my colleagues and am getting to know STADA better every day. I have talked to the heads of all key functions and key countries where we are present and have also been for example to Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Russia and Serbia. What particularly impresses me is that despite the many changes over the past two years, STADA is growing strongly based on highly dedicated and motivated employees.

What attracted you about STADA?

GOLDSCHMIDT: STADA has all the ingredients to become a growth leader in the Generics and OTC industries in Europe. We are diversified across a lot of therapeutic areas and across most key markets in Western and Eastern Europe. We have the opportunity to become more productive in the supply chain and more efficient in our administration. Furthermore, there is also the ambition of our private equity owners to invest in growth. This is key for me in order to achieve long-term sustainability and success. This is why I can clearly say: I’m here to stay with STADA for the long term.

You were previously at Sandoz and Novartis for 28 years. That speaks for a high degree of loyalty. What other values are important to you?

GOLDSCHMIDT: The most important thing for me in every relationship – whether private or professional – is integrity. We only have the basis to achieve something very special together when we are honest and open with each other. It is therefore my goal to create an environment in which everyone can express their opinion respectfully and challenge – regardless of the hierarchical level. What we should not lose is the entrepreneurship that I see in a lot of markets. I want all our employees to take on responsibility and always ask themselves: “What is best for STADA? What else can I do to drive growth?”

How will STADA’s strategic direction change under your leadership?

GOLDSCHMIDT: The 3 pillars will certainly remain the OTC business, the classic generics business and, increasingly, the specialty business including biosimilars. We will certainly have to open up even more to partners all over the world in terms of development and production. We have many strengths, but there are also things that others might be able to do better. We join forces within strategic partnerships to achieve the best result possible. Our geographic footprint will continue to have a clear focus on Western and Eastern Europe. I am already working with my global STADA Executive Committee (SEC) on these strategic priorities, and soon we will launch a Strategic Planning project that will include the whole company.

How would you describe yourself as a leader and a boss?

GOLDSCHMIDT: Boss sounds very old-fashioned to me in several ways. I don’t know everything, I don’t want to take every decision and I don’t want to tell people what they have to do. As a leader, I will drive the strategy and our culture in the first place to ensure we are doing the right things to achieve our targets based on clear values and behaviors (which will be launched early next year). It is also my task to challenge our functions and countries continuously to achieve the best result – respectful challenge will become a big part of our growth culture. That is why we should always ask ourselves what is best for our company and not for each individual or unit. I also expect that decisions are always made on the basis of all available information and therefore soundly-based. Then I can live with mistakes and the fact that a decision has not come to fruition as hoped. .... and I also will make mistakes. The important thing is to own this as well and to learn from it.