Current CEO: Joe Jimenez
Novartis International, based in Basel, Switzerland, is a large pharmaceutical corporation that employs over 115,000 associates in 140 countries. The company researches, develops and manufactures top-selling prescription medications for cancer, hypertension, epilepsy and many other conditions. In addition, it produces over-the-counter medicines, generic drugs, vaccines and animal health products. Under the Novartis umbrella is Alcon, its eye-care division, which makes Ciba Vision contact lens and lens-care products.
Employees in many different career paths have found working at Novartis to be a rewarding experience. Fortune magazine ranked the company number 25 in their 2011 “Global Top Companies for Leaders,” praising its mentoring program. Novartis has also won awards for being a good place for scientists to work. The Scientist magazine rated it number six in their 2011 “Best Places to Work in Industry.” Two Novartis locations in Europe, Horsham, U.K., and Basel, Switzerland, were ranked number one and number five in The Scientist’s 2010 list of “Best Places to Work for Postdocs.” Cambridge, Mass., was fourth on the U.S. list.
Diversity and innovation are important to the Novartis culture. Diversity magazine listed the company as one of its “Top 10 Global Companies for Diversity” for two years in a row. The Wall Street Journal gave Novartis one of their 2011 “Technology Innovation Awards.” These awards are given to companies that leap beyond conventional ideas to profoundly influence their industry. Applicants interested in Novartis careers may consult the corporate website for a complete listing of vacancies by country.
Novartis benefits include three bonus plans to reward performance, in addition to competitive insurance in alignment with local and national legislation. Short-term incentive plans reward employees for meeting goals and for performing well on year-end evaluations. The long-term incentive plan rewards key executives who have made significant contributions to the long-term success of the company. Novartis Equity Plan Select grants performance-based stock shares or options to 10 percent of employees each year.
The history of Novartis began with three companies: Geigy, Ciba and Sandoz. Geigy began in the mid-1700s; a century later, it built a plant and mill in Basel, Switzerland, to produce dyestuffs and pharmaceuticals. Ciba, founded in approximately 1859, was a chemical manufacturer. Sandoz, also located in Basel, was a pharmaceutical manufacturer founded in 1886.
In 1970, the pharmaceutical branch of Ciba spun off to merge with Geigy, creating Ciba-Geigy. Sandoz merged with Ciba-Geigy in 1996 to create Novartis International. Sandoz became the subsidiary that manufactures generic drugs.