Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Title: Senior VP, Worldwide Oncology Commercialization
Since Teresa Bitteti joined Bristol-Myers Squibb back in 1996, her roles—and the company itself—have changed quite a bit. Now Bristol's global commercial head for oncology, Bitetti is intimately involved in strategy and long-range planning for the leading cancer drugmaker.
A classical civilizations major with a finance MBA, Bitetti has often thought of herself as a "science wannabe," she jokingly told FiercePharma. She previously spent time working in finance at Mobil Oil before joining BMS in the same capacity, but didn't have a passion for working in finance, so she decided to make a switch.
At BMS, she found that opportunity. During her time at the drugmaker, she's worked in marketing and sales, led critical drug launches and even headed up the company's Canadian operation out of Montreal. Pharma is the perfect industry for her because its mixture of "business and extending and enhancing lives," she said.
Industry watchers are familiar with Opdivo, the immuno-oncology therapy, and Abilify, the atypical antipsychotic; they're also two blockbuster BMS launches Bitetti managed during her time at the New York City-based drugmaker. Both of those rollouts were hectic in their own unique ways, she said, with the Opdivo launch featuring several new FDA-approved indications over the course of just one year.
The Abilify launch, years earlier, required a restructuring to meet its internal goals, including some job cuts and other personnel moves. Bitetti said that was one of the toughest times during her career at BMS, but that her team ultimately pulled through.
As SVP of worldwide oncology commercialization, Bitetti now works hand-in-hand with the company's oncology R&D team to build out the company's cancer drug offerings. She's involved in business development and works to identify holes to fill in the company's cancer pipeline. She moved up to the post in October from her most recent job as SVP of U.S. oncology.
Much earlier in her career, though, Bitetti said it was her willingness to take lateral career moves that gave her experience and prepared her for more senior roles.
"Being at BMS, I've never been bored," she said. "Every new job I've gone into, there's a ton of new things to learn."
Offering advice to those just starting their careers, Bitetti said it's important to find something you are passionate about, and along the way, don't ignore company culture. For managers, fostering personal relationships and valuing your employees are both critical for success, she said, pointing back to her old managers whom she still remembers for their personalized and heartfelt messages.
"You are only as good as the talent you have on your team," she said, adding, "In today's busy world, recognizing and rewarding people is important."