Career close-up: Managing Director, Paul Steckler

Pf talks to Paul Steckler, Managing Director Europe of Canopy Growth Corporation.

Tell us about the roles that led you to Managing Director?
I’ve always had a passion for understanding and supporting health and wellbeing, starting with me studying the things that cause us to be unwell. I graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in microbiology and virology. I then started a 15-year career with Pfizer as a sales representative and progressed to Commercial Director, growing specialty brands and anti-infectives from pre-launch to loss of exclusivity.

In 2015, I joined Shield Therapeutics as Chief Commercial Officer where I supported a successful IPO for the company, while simultaneously leading global commercial operations for their lead product to treat iron deficiency.

I was then drawn to the cannabis industry and started my journey as Chief Operating Officer of the medical arm of the business, before becoming Managing Director for Canopy Growth in Europe and the UK. I am also leading the growth of our medical and consumer-focused brands in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

What do you enjoy about being a Managing Director?
Leading an ambitious and talented team who are working hard to improve patients’ lives by unleashing the full power of cannabis is what drives me each day. My colleagues have a vested interest in our mission, which makes my role in bringing people together to achieve a common goal that much easier.

How would your team describe you?
I believe my team would see me as hard-working, inclusive and an innovative thinker.

What inspired you to work in the field of medical cannabis?
I started to see the impact of medical cannabis on the lives of people around the world, including some close friends – I truly believe these medicines bring value to patients who have no other treatment options or have been let down by their current standard of care. So, when Canopy Growth approached me, it seemed like a natural next step, and I have never looked back!

How have you seen the industry change over the years?
I feel lucky to have witnessed a dramatic shift over the past several years, where individuals and healthcare professionals are increasingly seeing medical cannabis as a viable treatment option, especially for those struggling with unmet medical needs.

As an industry, we have an incredible opportunity to support this continued progress and in doing so, we can transform the way that people understand and experience this powerful plant.

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
Do what you’re passionate about and stick to your values, nothing else matters.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
I’ve been fortunate enough to bring my pharma experience to the industry, however a brand-new industry brings brand-new challenges. We continue to face barriers due to stigma and restrictive regulations of medical cannabis, but we’re making important progress.

Do you have any rituals or habits that help you have a productive day?
I have a short list of key things that I need to achieve and let nothing else get in the way (with exceptions of course). I also take time to refocus when faced with a barrier – even a short walk can help give me a new perspective.

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