ELITE 2018 Transformational Leader Herm Cukier of BioDelivery Sciences

Herm Cukier

CEO

BioDelivery Sciences

The Movement Maker

“Herm Cukier represents a transformational leader if ever I saw one,” says David Zaritsky, CEO of PulseCX, “not only in creating innovation acceptance, but also his incredibly empowering management style.”

For example, while the Head of Women’s Healthcare Division at Allergan, the group realized their birth control option Lo Loestrin had the lowest amount of estrogen in the marketplace. They recognized this as a potentially important attribute to Millennial women, but the issue was how to reach them. This group highly distrusts the pharma industry and doesn’t typically have a very good relationship with their gynecologists. A new way of thinking was needed to reach them.

Herm and his team utilized a concept called in-culture marketing, which is basically creating a viral social movement. It was 2015 when they launched #ActuallySheCan, years before the current active cultural movements seen today. As someone once said to Herm, “You were creating hashtags before hashtags were a thing.” (Though Herm is quick to give credit to his incredible team.)

The campaign, which is still going strong today, quickly went viral with its message of female empowerment. Celebrities such as actress Lea Michelle and social media star Lo Bosworth further helped spread the word. As did a later tie-in with the Tribeca Film Festival, which involved Allergan funding three movies by different female directors to premiere at an event facilitated by Sarah Jessica Parker.

But that is just one example of Herm’s transformative efforts. Another was when he joined Allergan’s Eye Care division and helped build a surgical biotech within the company that was focused on minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) and also helped launch the first ever neurostimulator technology in the field of eye health. Or his time at Organon where he recognized the blockbuster potential of an innovative anesthesia drug in development. The product peak forecast was more than quadrupled by the investment community and helped double the value of the company when it was purchased just before its IPO. These stories all have one common thread—Herm is an innovator that knows how to create engaging and significant experiences through an evolution of people and vision.

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