Castellani successfully can fill Tauzin's shoes

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT It’s been said many times that the people you know are as important as what you know. In the case of Billy Tauzin, former president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, this adage was especially true, considering his former career as a member of Congress.

(THE NEWS: PhRMA names new president, CEO. For the full story, click here)

PhRMA’s new president and CEO, John Castellani, doesn’t have the political background of Tauzin, former Democratic congressman from Louisiana, but he has something pretty close in the form of a nine-year career as leader of the Business Roundtable, an influential lobbying group of corporate chief executives from various industries.

And it appears PhRMA made a wise choice. Politico quoted an unnamed senior industry official as saying the lobby sought a “non-partisan, manager type” to head the group while pointing out his relationships with members of Congress in both major parties. David Brennan, head of the organization’s search committee and president and CEO of AstraZeneca, pointed out Castellani’s experience in coalition building and “strong reputation of working across the political divide.”

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