If you’ve met James McDermott, you’ll know he likes a bit of tweed. Ok. A lot of tweed! In fact, it’s not uncommon for him to be dressed head to toe in tweed. Including a very fine waistcoat. Complete with an exquisitely crafted pocket watch. So if you haven’t met James, by now you’ll have a good chance of spotting him at the next pharma event!
In fact, you might see him hanging around the Formedix conference booth a little more these days. That’s because he recently joined the Formedix team, as a Director on our board. We’re very lucky to have him – he’s an incredibly busy guy – as we found out when we caught up with him last week…
Not a lot of people know this, but James survives on just 5 hours sleep a night! Often less. Apparently, the secret is getting good quality deep sleep for 3 hours. Genius! And when he’s not busy with Formedix, James is either working as a Director for Quanticate, or as an Executive Chairman for Achieve Intelligence. Not to mention dabbling in the electric car business, and working on various charity projects.
So why James?
Well, James has built up a deep understanding of the pharmaceutical sector. He’s also incredibly focused on how to run an effective board. It’s this expertise that really excites us. We were looking for an industry insider. And someone with director level skills to help steer and maximize our future growth. You could call it the perfect match really!
Then there’s the similarities between James and our CEO, Mark Wheeldon…
Both were entrepreneurs. Both with great determination. And both worked incredibly hard to achieve their goals. It was this grounding that taught James about business. Then through the IOD’s chartered directors program, he learnt all aspects of how to run a business. And it’s these skills we’re especially tapping into at Formedix.
Did it all start with a business degree?
Actually no. Far from it. Back in the 1970’s, James was lucky enough to have a home computer. Which was practically unheard of at the time. He taught himself how to program in Visual Basic. Why?… So he could play computer games of course! And it seems that was the catalyst for everything that followed.
James got an MSc in Statistics and Information Technology from the University of Leicester. And he started his career as a Medical Statistician – first for Innovex, then for Sandoz. That later led to being a Senior Statistician for Glaxo Wellcome. Roll forward a bit, and James cofounded PHUSE. If you don’t know, it’s a not-for-profit organization and forum for data managers, biostatisticians, statistical programmers and eClinical IT professionals. That’s even more invaluable experience from our point of view. James took on this role alongside his position as Managing Director of Quanticate – a global Clinical Research Organization (CRO).
So how does an entrepreneur stay in shape?
Answer… lots of running and cycling! Would you believe his resting heart rate is sub 50! Perhaps he’s some sort of athlete. Or maybe it’s partly down to him being quite fidgety! He’s always on the move, and loves walking his dog, Percy near his home in Oxfordshire.
What’s the secret to his success?
Well the idea of work as a bad thing is just a strange concept for James. It’s something he truly enjoys and is passionate about. So it’s no surprise he’s never really ‘off duty’. You could say it’s in his DNA.
But don’t start feeling sorry for him…
James is recently back from a business trip in the North Male Aatol – aka the Maldives! In fact, he had such a good time working out there (and snorkelling, and fishing!) that he’s already trying to engineer a way back! Can’t blame him. Perhaps for the next Formedix board meeting… you never know!