Nationality: Swiss | Year of birth: 1966
As Chief Communications Officer of Novartis, Michael Willi leads a global, diverse community of communications and advocacy professionals.
Michael is passionate about the role of communications in strengthening the Novartis brand. He is committed to keeping Novartis engaged in an honest and transparent dialogue with its key stakeholders. From engaging people in topics including cutting-edge science and access to innovative medicines, to building thought leadership and communicating financial performance, his team is responsible for driving impactful communications and advocacy that build trust with patients, customers, employees, business partners, policymakers, shareholders and society at large.
My passion is building trust and reputation. I’ve seen it proven true time and again – reputation drives trust, and trust drives business.
Another priority for Michael is harnessing the power of communications to help advance a major internal cultural change at Novartis. The aim is to drive innovation, performance and reputation by transforming the company’s culture to be more inspired, curious and unbossed. An additional focus area is building an industry-leading patient engagement organization that works with the patient community around the world to integrate their perspectives into decision-making and improve outcomes.
Michael is a seasoned communications and advocacy leader with over two decades of experience in driving trust and business growth for multinational corporations. Prior to joining Novartis in 2013, he served as chief communications officer for UBS AG, where he spent 20 years in roles of increasing seniority.
Michael is a native of Basel, Switzerland. Outside of work, he is passionate about music and the arts. He serves as chairman of the board of Theater Basel, Switzerland's largest theater.