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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Jennifer Cook of Roche named 2016 Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association

Written by: | | Dated: Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

February 9, 2016 – Fairfield, NJ: The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) announced that its 2016 Woman of the Year is Jennifer Cook, head of pharma, region Europe for Roche.

“The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association is extremely proud to honor Jennifer Cook as our 2016 Woman of the Year,” says Laurie Cooke, CEO of the HBA. “Jennifer embodies the leadership, business savvy results and commitment to inclusion that our industry needs to thrive in today’s challenging environment.”

“I am incredibly proud to see Jennifer recognized as the HBA 2016 Woman of the Year,” says Daniel O’Day, chief operating officer, Roche. “Jennifer is an exceptional leader with a combination of qualities that make her an invaluable contributor to our industry. Her outstanding business acumen, combined with her highly engaging leadership style and passion for bringing out the best in people, makes her a worthy choice for this award.”


Jennifer will be honored at the HBA’s 27th annual Woman of the Year (WOTY) event on Thursday, May 12, at the Hilton New York Midtown. The WOTY event, which draws upward of 2,000 women and men from throughout the healthcare industry, showcases the HBA’s core purpose of furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. Awards for Honorable Mentor, STAR (Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition) and a group of some 100 Rising Stars and Luminaries, noted for their accomplishments and contributions to the healthcare industry, also will be presented at the WOTY event.

“I am truly honored to receive this recognition,” says Jennifer. “In this period of rapid evolution for our industry, I believe we have an unprecedented opportunity to improve health outcomes for patients and societies worldwide. As HBA Woman of the Year, I feel privileged to help bring together the many remarkable women in our industry to further our impact.”

As head of pharma, region Europe for Roche, Jennifer is responsible for enabling people in Europe to access Roche medicines, achieving Roche’s commercial success in Europe and leading the 5,700-person work force in the region’s 28 countries.

Jennifer first joined Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in 1987. She spent the next five years there working in research and early development before joining Prizm Pharmaceuticals, a start-up biotechnology company in San Diego, CA. Jennifer returned to Genentech in 1997, and over the next 19 years held roles of increasing responsibility in commercial operations and portfolio management, including vice president market development, senior vice president global portfolio management and senior vice president and US business unit head, immunology and ophthalmology. Her work with that team in driving culture change for strategic advantage has been described in a case study and published at the Haas School, the Harvard Business School, and California Management Review.

Jennifer has consistently delivered strong and meaningful results and has significantly improved Roche’s business performance in Europe since she assumed her current role in 2013. She has also built a stellar reputation for leadership and people development, inspiring and empowering other leaders within Roche’s pharma region in Europe and serving as a trusted mentor to employees across the company.

Jennifer earned a BA degree in human biology and an MS in biology from Stanford University, as well as an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley.


About the HBA

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global nonprofit organization, with chapters in the US and Europe, committed to: achieving gender parity in leadership positions; facilitating career and business connections and providing effective practices that enable organizations to realize the full potential of their female talent. The HBA accomplishes its mission through strong business networks, education, research, advocacy, and recognition for individuals and companies. For more information, visit


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Media contact:

Carol Meerschaert, MBA, RD

Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association

Director, marketing and communications


Twitter: @HBAnet 

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