IHS Chemical Week


Do Chemical Companies Overemphasize Technical Talent?

2:37 PM MST | February 4, 2009 | By VINCENT VALK

For rather understandable reasons, chemical companies place a high value on technical expertise. While chemistry PhDs are undeniably crucial for developing new products and ensuring the quality of existing ones, are they really well-suited for marketing, or organizational and fiscal management? Two experts I've heard recently – Chris Driscoll of Tunnell Consulting at Informex's Biotech breakfast, and Phil Allen of GEMS Europe at CW's recent marketing webcast – say probably not. It's not as though having a measure of technical know-how isn't important, nor would I, or they, generalize about all of the industry's technical staff. But I could not help but notice that both Allen and Driscoll made pretty much the same point – that chemical companies disadvantage themselves by placing technical people in non-technical positions. Finance people with backgrounds in finance, or marketing people with backgrounds in marketing should have a place, too, especially in more mature organizations.

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