Brendan O’Brien is a principal with Heidrick & Struggles based in New Jersey, and a member of the Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice. Previously, he was a senior principal at Decision Strategies International (DSI), a global strategy and leadership development advisory firm acquired by Heidrick & Struggles in 2016.
Brendan has more than 20 years of executive management experience in the healthcare and life sciences industries in marketing, operations and strategic development roles.
Prior to his time at DSI, Brendan was vice president of strategic planning and analysis for Sanofi North America, where he introduced and implemented a strategic planning process utilizing scenario planning for the $10-billion pharmaceuticals business.
Prior to this, Brendan worked for Pfizer pharmaceuticals in senior operational and strategic leadership positions in several European countries. Among his roles at Pfizer were head of regional marketing, business development, pricing/access and market research for all 27 countries of Central & Eastern Europe. Brendan also was managing director/country manager for Pfizer for several years in Slovakia (based in Bratislava) and Romania (based in Bucharest). In these roles, he had full P&L responsibility for all Pfizer operations, and directly managed employee organizations of over 200 staff in each country.
Brendan brings deep talent planning as well as organizational design and execution experience from these leadership roles. Brendan ranked among the top three country managers globally for Pfizer for employee engagement, as measured by Gallup organizational annual survey. Brendan has leadership experience through three major integrations while at Pfizer, including leading organizational design and execution at regional and in-country level in several countries.
He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of National Braille Press, the country’s leading publisher of braille language publications for the blind and partially-sighted.Education:
Brendan has a Master of Business Administration degree from the London Business School, with a thesis of distinction in organizational behavior. He received his bachelor’s degree with Honors in History from Bowdoin College.