Skip to main content

2006  Matthew Emmens

Independent Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb named 2006 Honorable Mentor

During the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) 17th annual Women of the Year event, the association recognized Matthew Emmens of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company as its 2006 Honorable Mentor.

“Matt was chosen as this year’s HBA Honorable Mentor because of the many inspiring testimonials about his dedication to the advancement of women in the healthcare industry. Such promotion of our mission deserves to be recognized,” said Debra L. Newton, HBA chair emeritus. Newton added, “The people nominating him clearly underscored that he is an outstanding leader who has the ability to empower his staff to produce positive results.”

The HBA created the Honorable Mentor award in 2001 to annually recognize an individual who demonstrates long-term advocacy for current and future women leaders. Recipients exhibit personal dedication to developing, mentoring and promoting women in the industry, and are supportive of the HBA’s core purpose to further the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare.

“Matt is one of the few leaders whose work touches the lives of tens of thousands of people – from employees to patients – around the world,” said Barbara Pritchard, former co-chair of HBA’s Woman of the Year event. “Matt’s open, fair and focused style has helped to transform Shire, allowing the organization to grow into a leading global pharmaceutical company.” 

Matthew Emmens began his career in international pharmaceuticals with Merck & Co. Inc., where he helped to establish Astra Merck, the joint venture between Merck and Astra AB of Sweden, later becoming its president and CEO. A recognized industry leader, Emmens served as president, pharmaceuticals, for Merck KGaA; CEO and chairman of Shire and chairman, president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. 

During Emmens tenure at Shire, he was named HBA’s 2006 Honorable Mentor and engineered an extraordinary revitalization, transforming Shire into one of the top specialty biopharma companies in the world. Other achievements under his leadership at Shire include, the $1.6 billion acquisition of a Massachusetts-based biotech company (now known as Shire Human Genetic Therapies); the consolidation of 14 North American sites to five more efficient and effective locations; the realignment of existing senior managers and the recruitment of seasoned industry veterans to create an 11-member executive leadership team (three of which were women) and a series of sales and marketing awards in the U.S. and Europe. 

In Feb. 2017, Emmens was appointed to Bristol-Meyers Squibb's Board of Directors as an independent director.

“Matt really values diversity of thinking, styles and approaches. He is an excellent mentor to women, and he regards women as a key to success in business. He has always hired and promoted qualified women throughout his career, and I view him as a mentor, one who is also very open to learning and is always challenging himself,” said Anita Graham, Shire’s Executive Vice President of Global Human Resources. 

About the HBA
The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global nonprofit organization serving a community women and men in leading life sciences, biotech, pharmaceutical and supporting companies. The HBA has nearly 120 Corporate Partners and nearly 8,000 members served by more than 20 chapters and affiliates across the U.S. and Europe.