Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, has had quite an interesting career. Over the years, his work has taken him from Europe, to Harvard, to the forefront of the international discussion on the best way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the beginning of 2020, his company was a relatively unknown Boston-based biotech with no approved drugs to its name. Thanks in no small part to the efforts of Bancel, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine saved an untold number of lives across the world. Notably, Bancel has served as CEO and a member of the board of directors for Moderna since 2011, a year after the company was founded. In these leadership positions, he helped guide the company through its December 2018 IPO.
Born in Marseille, France, Bancel displayed precious talents in math, science, and computers. His father and mother were an engineer and a doctor, respectively. At school, Bancel's natural curiosity spread into the fields of chemistry and biology, which eventually led him to earning three separate graduate degrees: a Master of Engineering from CentraleSupélec (former École Centrale Paris), a Master of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Early on in his career, he took a job in sales and marketing at BioMérieux, a French diagnostics company. During this time, he “really discovered the business side, which I really enjoyed, and decided to go back to school to learn the business side of things.” After picking up a Harvard MBA, he then had a long stint at Eli Lilly, serving in various roles, including as Managing Director of Belgium and as Executive Director for Global Manufacturing Strategy and Supply Chain. Following nearly six years at Eli Lilly, Bancel returned to BioMérieux, where he served as CEO and was credited with improving the company's margins.
In addition to leading Moderna, Bancel is also a partner at the biotech-focused venture capital firm Flagship Ventures. Previously, he served on the boards of Indigo Agriculture, Boston's Museum of Science, and Qiagen. As of December 2022, his net worth was estimated at $6 billion, owning about 8% of Moderna.