Archived: Diversity Leadership: John Lechleiter, EliLilly and Company

John Lechleiter


Chairman, President and CEO

Eli Lilly and Company

“Every time I sit down with [our resource groups] I learn a lot, my eyes are opened up,” John Lechleiter told DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti. Resource groups are helping Eli Lilly adapt to meet the needs of a diverse patient base, he says. “This is the time we need to engage people like never before; this is the time when we need to take full advantage of the power, of the intellects we have here and the people we have who are committed to this company, who want to see us move forward.”

Lechleiter, who became President and CEO in 2008 and Chairman in 2009, personally chairs the diversity council, meets regularly with resource groups and signs off on diversity goals. He joined Eli Lilly in 1979 as a chemist and has held numerous leadership roles throughout his tenure, including Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Vice President for Development and Regulatory Affairs, Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical Products, Executive Vice President for Pharmaceutical Products and Corporate Development, Executive Vice President for Pharmaceutical Operations, and President and Chief Operating Officer.

Lechleiter received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Xavier University in Ohio in 1975. He received both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he studied organic chemistry as a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Lechleiter is president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations. He is a member of the worldwide board of directors of United Way, of the board of trustees of Xavier University, and of the board of directors of the Life Sciences Foundation and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. He chairs the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and is a member of the American Chemical Society and Business Roundtable.

Latest News

The Importance of Business-Community Partnerships

Businesses increasingly play a key role in building stronger communities. It’s something that people in the past few years have come to expect. It’s created not only a way to improve local communities, but also boost an organization’s employee morale, loyalty and brand reputation. One of the main ways businesses…

CDO Series: Humana’s Carolyn Tandy

Following the murder of George Floyd, the role of Chief Diversity Officers has become more important as companies started to be more intentional with their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which has made the last few years tumultuous for many CDOs. In the first interview of a series of articles…