Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast

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EP 456: Jim Fong On Unconventional Leadership In The Face of Insurmountable Challenges

My guest this episode is a proven leader who’s a great example of the power of unconventional thinking. Jim Fong was an executive vice president and chief commercial officer for CTI Biopharma. This summer a Swedish pharmaceutical giant plunked down nearly $2 billion US dollars to acquire this startup, but as you’re about to learn, almost no one in the industry predicted that this would happen. Jim and his team were given the near-impossible task of recruiting a salesforce of 100 to sell their blood-cancer treatment before it had received FDA approval while 80% of the market was already controlled by a huge pharmaceutical company. Jim and his team decided that they needed to look for people with the right attitude, not the right aptitude. He’s the youngest of my two brothers, and I’m extremely proud of him and what he accomplished in the face of insurmountable odds.