Irwin M. Lerner

BS ‘51, MBA ‘58

Chairman, President and CEO; Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc.


Irwin M. Lerner spent 32 years at Hoffmann-La Roche before retiring in 1993 as chairman, president and CEO. A 1951 graduate of the School of Business (Newark), and a 1958 graduate of GSM, he more than tripled the company's size and profitability. Mr. Lerner is credited with originating the concept of co-promotion, whereby two companies join forces to market a drug. It was through co-promotion that he introduced the anti-ulcer drug Zantac, which, in its day, was the best selling drug in pharmaceutical history. At the federal level, he oversaw reforms that streamlined the drug approval process and increased funding to the FDA. Today he is chairman of Medarex Inc., and a director of a number of public and private companies. Mr. Lerner was the first distinguished executive-in-residence at Rutgers Business, and serves on the school’s Board of Advisers.

Recognized: May 10, 2001