Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has been active in Mexico since 1951, and has been led in Mexico by Argentinean Constanza Losada as country president and CEO since April 2020. She recently spoke to PharmaBoardroom about how her diverse and plentiful experience in emerging markets will help in the new role, strategic priorities, and advice for other women in leadership.
My varied experiences in different markets, both global and regional, as well as in challenging and dynamic emerging markets, have made me the perfect candidate for the Mexico country manager position
Losada’s previous experiences with Pfizer include working in Argentina as finance director for the Southern Cone, leading the company’s innovation efforts in emerging markets as diverse as China, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, and heading up the Biopharma branch in Latin America.
She feels that this diversity of experience will stand her in good stead for her first country manager role. “My varied experiences in different markets, both global and regional, as well as in challenging and dynamic emerging markets, have made me the perfect candidate for the Mexico country manager position,” she notes. “I have also consistently built effective teams throughout my career, so I am immensely proud of that.”
In terms of strategic priorities, on her appointment, Losada told the media that “Today more than ever we are focused on care in priority areas such as oncology, internal medicine, vaccines, inflammation and immunology, in-hospital care, and rare diseases, among others, providing therapeutic solutions and technological tools that empower the patient in their self-care, allow them to make informed decisions and support them with adherence to treatment. With this, we want to benefit more than five million Mexicans each year.”
Losada is sanguine that the COVID-19 pandemic will not necessitate too great a readjustment of these priorities thanks to the strength of the Pfizer Mexico team. “We are standing by our previous decisions and have already launched five products in 2020: three in oncology and two in inflammation,” she boasts. “We just launched the first oncology biosimilar in Mexico, which fills us with pride.
She continues, “The team in Mexico is exceptionally talented and has achieved a lot in recent years, including maintaining a position as one of the leading companies in the domestic market over the last seven years. The organisation has grown consistently, so I am sure that I have the best team and resources to achieve all our planned product launches in the next few years.”
Losada, not yet physically present in Mexico as of June 2020 due to COVID-19-related restrictions, is nonetheless already leading country operations and underlines the importance of support from both her family and from Pfizer in this challenging new role. “It has been a very exciting time for me and my family,” she exclaims, “Their support has been extremely important as this represents a big opportunity for my career, but also a big change for them.”
“Pfizer has also been wonderfully supportive,” Losada continues. “Ever since I started working for the company in 2008, they have shown that gender equality is one of their core values. They have also made the transitional process exceptionally smooth.”
Sharing her insights for other women looking to accelerate their management career in the pharma industry, Losada is keen to underline the importance of supportive families, companies, and mentors. “Something I often speak about with the women on my teams and at other companies in the industry is that we have the ability to make choices,” she notes. “It is not an “either/or” choice between family and career. You can have a family and be a mother and a wife and still have a successful professional career. Family support is crucial, in my case, as my husband has always been a great supporter of my career.”
“I also believe that in companies, we as leaders have a responsibility, regardless of our gender, to uplift our colleagues at different stages of their lives, making sure that they can be their best selves in the company and at home.”
Losada concludes, “I have had the privilege of having mentors that have supported me so that I could take on and accept new challenges. I believe that it is important to pass this on to new generations so that they can feel supported and continue to grow.”