On August 20, Greg Rush joined PAREXEL as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Greg, who is coming to PAREXEL from Syneos Health (formerly known as INC Research), brings years of experience in both the CRO and service industries, having worked with companies including Tekelec (acquired by Oracle), Siebel Systems, Quintiles Transnational Holdings, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We sat down with Greg to learn more about his interest in joining PAREXEL and how he plans to help our company continue to deliver high quality service and expertise to clients.
Welcome to PAREXEL and thank you for speaking with us. Would you start by telling us a little about your background? Where are you from, and how did you become interested in Finance?
Greg Rush (GR): Thanks so much for the opportunity to speak with you. It’s exciting to be joining PAREXEL at this time, and I am really looking forward to working with our senior leaders, our Finance organization, and our employees around the world. I’m happy to be joining a company that is a true innovator in the industry and has helped so many life science companies bring new treatments to patients across the globe!
In terms of my background, I was born in Georgia and grew up in North Carolina. I’ve lived in Raleigh since 1994. My interest in Finance started with my dad, who was also a CFO. I learned a lot about Finance, and what a CFO does, from him. He taught me that a good CFO must be a business partner to the organization — going beyond providing high-level performance in the discipline. By working to help solve business problems while focusing on the organization’s overall success, a good CFO can enhance an organization’s value both to its customers and employees.
For several years I led global financial operations within the Clinical Research Organization (CRO) and service industries, for both private and public companies. In my various roles, I had the opportunity to develop innovative financial management strategies, strong capital structures, high levels of operational support and sound corporate governance practices.
What attracted you to PAREXEL?
GR: PAREXEL is not only one of the founders of the CRO industry, it is also one of the leaders. I have always been impressed by PAREXEL’s global reach, its commitment to innovation, and the depth and breadth of its therapeutic and functional expertise.
Our organizational capabilities and our employees’ remarkable talent set PAREXEL apart. More importantly, this combination allows us to make a real impact when partnering with our clients to develop and deliver important new medicines to patients who need them.
PAREXEL’s mission is to help customers prevent and cure disease. What does this mission mean to you?
GR: Before entering the life sciences industry, my perspective focused largely on its sound fundamentals and growth potential. But when I got the opportunity work with and get to know the people in life sciences, I noticed an important distinction.
Everywhere I worked, employees wanted to produce the best software, product or service in their industries and beat the competition. That competitiveness holds true in life sciences as well. However, competition is not the only motivator. In my view, people enter the life sciences industry out of a desire to make a difference in patients’ quality of life and help prevent and cure disease.
We have a unique, inspiring and noble mission here that truly is making a difference in the world. I’m pleased to join an organization that is a leader in so many of the therapeutic areas that are tackling society’s most devastating and costly health issues.
Where do you plan to focus your time during your first months at PAREXEL?
GR: My initial focus is just to get to know people and gain an even better understanding of the current state of the company and my organization. I am a big believer in first understanding how and why things are done before implementing ideas for how to improve things. I certainly have a “bias for action” mentality, but I don’t underestimate the importance of “informed” action. I look forward to working with my colleagues to position PAREXEL for successful growth and deliver better support for our clients.