Carsten Thiel

Cues and Views

EUSA Pharma CEO Carsten Thiel, in brief.

Carsten Thiel

Home: Zug, Switzerland.  Age: 59.  Birthplace: Berlin, Germany.  Profession: Global pharmaceuticals.  Organization: EUSA Pharma.  Title: CEO.  Significant other: Dorota, the love of my life.  Alma mater: University of Marburg (B.S.); Max Planck Institute Goettingen (Ph.D.).  Languages spoken: English, German, French.

Current project: Our company is working on international approval and reimbursement for a neuroblastoma treatment.  Recent recognition: Recently named one of the “Top 25 Healthcare Technology CEOs of Europe for 2021” by The Healthcare Technology Report.  Recent professional development: Became CEO of EUSA Pharma after serving two years as President Europe for the company.  Latest accomplishment: Successfully led a restructuring within our company.  Latest contribution to others: Developed new values for our organization to encourage trust and respect amongst teams.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Bike tour over the Alps in four days with eight great friends.  Hobbies: Playing tenor sax, expanding my horizon as private pilot, skiing, driving my Harley, playing golf.  Recent travel or adventure: A four day trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  Last book read: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou.  Recently viewed and recommended: The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime with Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.  Recent unique acquisition: Bose noise cancelling headphones.  Best purchase ever.

Personality profile: Analyzing, valuing integrity, playing fair, being open minded.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Determined.  Moral compass: Would I wanted to be treated that way?   How do you define a perfect friendship? Mind opening, trustful with lots of smile.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Reliability, integrity and good communication.  What is your greatest joy? My wife and children.  What is your greatest fear? War.  In air collision.  What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate after dinner.  What word or phrase do you use far too often? Sorry to be late.  What natural talent have you neglected? Playing piano.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Professional cooks; neurosurgeons.

What three emojis best describe you? 😀😎🥰.

What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? A great spa hotel with my wife.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Maldives in December.  How do you relieve stress? 30 minutes on my Peloton, working in our garden, taking a ride on my Harley in the sunshine.  What is your go-to workout? A ride on my Peloton or, in summer, on my street bicycle; whole body muscle exercise while watching YouTube.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Having peace of mind from completing all tasks beforehand.  No waiting in lines on my way to the destination. Enough space in the plane.  Listening to chill out music.  A clean hotel bed and room.

What was your first paying job? At age of six, I was given a small plot of land and grew vegetables, sold them to my parents (they were stunned that I charged them).  What was your favorite college course? Supraconductors.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Hide and seek. What book have you repeatedly read? Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? Fried Green Tomatoes.  Black Hawk Down.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Photos of my family.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? John F. Kennedy and Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? No master ever fell from the sky.  Practice and learning is the path to become professional.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Ask for feedback.  See the world through the eyes of others. What’s the best advice you’ve given yourself? Never stop learning new things.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? GPS.  What is your favorite app? My home automation app.  What is your go-to source of news and information? STAT news; Neue Zürcher Zeitung.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? My management team.  What company or organization do you most admire? Dyson.  What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? The fall of the German wall in 1989.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? A pulmonary embolism in 2019 that got me on my knees.

What is your big idea?

This is the century of biotech. We will eliminate bad diseases and suffering!  

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Creating a caring culture of openness and dependency in the high-stress field of pharmaceuticals.  What change would you like to see in the world? Embrace innovation with a sense of urgency.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Use each day to care about others and about our planet and then amazing things will happen.  What widely held belief do you reject? It has always been done like this.  What mega-trend most excites you? Full personal genetic analysis and biochemical testing leveraging AI systems to accelerate an accurate disease diagnosis to provide better, more targeted therapy for patients.  What mega-trend most concerns you? Twitter and some activity of anonymous people on social media.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? The Long and Winding Road. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Myself.  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? Winston Churchill.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? My parents both worked in medicine, so for a long time I believed I would follow in their footsteps.   After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? The collection of memorabilia I have gathered over the years; meaningful letters, old family photos.  These are the things that truly aren’t replaceable.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? At home with my family – BBQ in the garden.  What advice would you give your younger self? Listen to others.  Never give up.  Smile.  What day in your life would you choose to re-live? When I met my wife the first time.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? Age 18, when I stopped playing music.

Personal mission: Leading others in the ultimate mission of making a difference in the lives of those with rare diseases.  Personal motto: What I say and do, I will be remembered for.  Favorite quote: "Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.  And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve" (Max Planck).  Desired epitaph: He made a difference to our lives.

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