Live from LIVE: Willie Deese Takes the Stage

Willie Deese knows a thing or two about Spend Management. From industry gossip, we know the man practically wrote the book on Spend Management in the pharmaceutical industry from his work at GlaxoSmithKline.

When he left GSK for the top Spend Management position at Merck, the expectations were high. From his presentation this morning at LIVE, we learned that within a few days of joining his new firm, his CEO asked him to estimate savings opportunities and goals for the next five years. A challenging question, even for the most seasoned Spend Management leader. But Deese was ready.

Deese's near term goals were also not easy. Over the next year, Deese was told he would need to exceed Merck's current savings target and plans by 30%. The result? His team beat targets by over 60%.

How did Deese do it? By hiring over 50 new employees, re-training and working with 200+ purchasing managers, and setting aggressive goals and expectations, the "Revolutionary Transformation" at Merck was underway. And stay tuned. It’s only just begun. We’ll see how the momentum continues as Deese executes on his five year plan.

-Jason Busch

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