ELITE 2022 Talent Acquisition Leader Kim Pope of ADC Therapeutics

Kim Pope

Chief Human Resources Officer

ADC Therapeutics

Building HR from Scratch

When Kim Pope began working with ADC Therapeutics, the company’s human resources function was non-existent. As a global biotech company on the precipice of launching its first product, ADC Therapeutics urgently needed a leader to build an HR infrastructure in the U.S. from the ground up. Kim not only stepped up to the challenge, but also exceeded expectations.

Kim quickly proved she was invaluable to ADC Therapeutics, initially as a consultant. CEO Chris Martin was so impressed with Kim and the HR function she began building that he convinced her to put her retirement plans on hold and join the company full time as Chief Human Resources Officer in August of 2020.

The list of Kim’s accomplishments is seemingly endless. She set up systems, processes, and tools to attract, motivate, and retain talent in a very competitive market. She hired and empowered a team of HR professionals. She established a robust suite of employee wellness initiatives. She implemented annual equity awards for all employees. She put together an above-industry-standard employee benefits package. And she led the charge to staff ADC Therapeutics’ entire commercial organization in short order as the company received accelerated FDA approval of its first product a month ahead of schedule in April 2021.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Kim also flawlessly handled the challenge of keeping employees spanning San Diego to Switzerland engaged during a global pandemic. She persuaded leadership to bring on a Head of Communications to ensure employee communications was a priority instead of an afterthought. As a result, ADC Therapeutics now hosts global quarterly town hall meetings, produces a bimonthly employee newsletter, and shares weekly industry news summaries with employees.

It’s no wonder ADC Therapeutics’ employee headcount has nearly tripled during Kim’s tenure. “Kim took HR on as a mission and ensured the right people were hired to make a differentiated product available to cancer patients who had run out of options,” says Mary Ann Ondish, Head of Communications, ADC Therapeutics. “I can’t express enough how highly I think of her. Kim turned HR into a respected company function, and she has a seat at the table.”


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