CSL CEO & Managing Director Paul Perreault never expected to spend two years without stepping foot in Australia, where the company got its start and where it continues to be among the most valuable companies traded on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Asked about the highlights of his visit to the continent affectionately known as “Oz,” Perreault had a long list. They included the new Base Fractionation facility at Broadmeadows, the new Bio21 laboratories, the Seqirus’ Tullamarine cell-based influenza vaccine facility and CSL’s new 16-story, global headquarters and R&D facilities in Melbourne.
“Being back in Australia has been fantastic. I’ve missed it so much,” he said. “You have to get out and see the business.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit in March 2020, forced worldwide shutdowns, punishing lockdowns and difficult conditions. Those in the CSL workforce who collect plasma and make medicines for people with rare and serious diseases were considered essential employees and continued to report for work on-site. CSL also had a hand in assisting with COVID-19 vaccine production while it continued producing therapies needed by people who have rare conditions such as hemophilia and immune deficiencies.
Much has changed for the better with the pandemic, but to fully emerge Perreault said we would do well to rely on three maxims that have served him well in his career: Keep learning; stay adaptable; and draw upon your foresight to see what’s likely to happen next.
“To maximize this moment in history, we need to nurture that learning, realize how adaptable we can be and think hard about what foresight we can bring to the future,” Perreault told the 300 business leaders, academics and government officials gathered for the Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics Annual Dinner. “Because there will be more challenges.”
Perreault’s Australia trip was one of several recent visits to CSL sites around the world, including several facilities in Europe and the United Kingdom, CSL Plasma in Boca Raton, Florida; and CSL Behring operational headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.