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    Kathryn Metcalfe, executive vice president, Corporate Affairs

    Kathryn Metcalfe, executive vice president, Corporate Affairs

    Meet Kathryn Metcalfe

    February 13, 2020


    athryn Metcalfe, executive vice president, Corporate Affairs, is responsible for leading Bristol-Myers Squibb’s strategic communications across stakeholder groups, including internal and external communications, global advocacy, government affairs, and global policy.?

    An accomplished communications leader, Kathryn?— who was inducted into PRWeek’s “Hall of Femme” and recently named in the publication’s Top 3 “health influencers” —?previously held senior positions at major corporations,?including CVS Health, Aetna, Deloitte, Pfizer and Novartis. Here she shares what led her to a career in corporate affairs?and what excites her about joining BMS.?

    Q. What led you to pursue a career in corporate affairs?

    A.?It began with a passion for journalism.?In?high school I worked for?the local CBS affiliate, running?the?teleprompter for the 5 and?10 o’clock news, and writing?stories. I loved it, and so I majored in journalism in college and then started my career as a journalist.

    At one point, I?relocated to?New York?City?for a?television news?job that was then put on hold. I needed interim work?and took a job at a public relations firm, thinking it would be temporary?and help me pay expensive rent in the city.?

    But upon joining the PR firm, I was exposed for the first time to a whole other realm of the communications field. I realized that in PR you get?to?find?the stories and represent a point of view rather than just being?the journalist who?reports on something after it has?happened. It was such a revelation to me that I never went back to journalism?— and I’ve never looked back.???

    Q. How would you describe your leadership style?

    A.?I tend to be direct and transparent, and I don’t take things personally. I always try to look at the broad set of stakeholders and how they’re going to react or respond to things, and how we should be thinking about ourselves, not from the inside out but from the outside in.

    Q. What’s your favorite quote?

    A.?“Man in the Arena” by Theodore Roosevelt. It goes:?

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marked by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    We now have all of the agility of biotech, but we also have the best of pharma — scope, scale, resources, know-how and depth.

    Q. What excites you about joining Bristol-Myers Squibb?

    A.?I’m excited to be joining BMS because it is now unlike any other company. I’ve worked in a lot of industries where you’re largely undifferentiated. But when I look at the pharmaceutical space, BMS is unlike anything that has ever existed. Having just combined with Celgene, we now have all of the agility of biotech, but we also have the best of pharma — scope, scale, resources, know-how and depth.?

    I’m also excited about the range of professionals one gets to collaborate with in a pharmaceutical environment — from?top?scientists,?to?engineers,?to other communicators?and other subject matter experts across a range of disciplines, all with a passion for the patients we serve. The diversity of thought, experience and expertise BMS offers is not only professionally satisfying but deeply rewarding on a personal level.???

    Q. What do you think the new company’s biggest challenge will be?

    A.?Harnessing our full potential and not getting in our own way. I think organizations can be fearful of change, and the challenge will be to get people to embrace it.?

    I believe the best ideas and thinking actually exist in one’s company if you can unlock it. Ultimately,?it’s our people who make us successful.

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