Talk about ambitious. For David Muth, Structural Bioinformatics’ freshly recruited president and COO whose charter is to steer the tools company toward discovery, a single MBA degree was simply not enough.
The first, in finance from Pace University in 1978, landed him an auditing job at Johnson & Johnson’s corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ. “But it doesn’t take more than a nanosecond to figure out that J&J is a sales-and-marketing driven organization,” says Muth, 48. “[So] I had to figure out … how I was going to move from finance into sales and marketing.”
He arranged a strategic transfer to Ethicon, one of J&J’s more than 150 wholly owned companies — still in finance, but now supporting the sales and marketing group. Then, to demonstrate he was “dead serious,” Muth spent his evenings racking up credits for an MBA in pharmaceutical marketing.
Soon, to his delight, he found himself as a marketing research manager. During the next 15 years Muth launched a handful of market-leading blockbuster drugs, including the antifungal Terazol and popular birth-control pills.
Muth was quickly bumped up to business development as the worldwide director of female healthcare to take advantage of his combination of financial and commercial skills.
By 1996, Muth was geared up for something new. He spent the next five years converting small plasma supplier NaBI of Boca Raton, Fla., into a fully operational biopharmaceutical company.
Now the 90-employee Structural Bioinformatics, based in San Diego, is counting on Muth to do it again: Like so many other bioinformatics tool and data suppliers, SBI now has its sights set on developing drugs. Muth will oversee this transition. He will head the company’s sales and marketing, database production, and R&D operations. “With my commercial background, my commercial experience, I can help the company evolve,” he says.
— Aaron J. Sender