Does Your Company Need a Chief Medical Officer?October 1, 2020
With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging but businesses trying to remain operational, organizations now have a life or death role to play in protecting the health of employees, customers, and the public. That means they need a new executive in the C-suite: a chief medical officer. Constellation Brands made such an appointment recently not only for today’s extenuating circumstances but also for long-term growth. There are three reasons: employee health, customer safety, and regulatory compliance.
In 2020, the emergence if a deadly and terribly contagious virus has challenged leaders in ways they never expected. National leaders are responding in inconsistent and contradictory ways. Outside of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, corporate leaders can feel like they are flying blind. Even the most beloved and respected experts on vision, values, strategy, and culture, are unequipped to understand the many unknowns that this pandemic and future ones might present. And yet organizations now have a life or death role to play in protecting the health of employees, customers, and the public
To breathe easier — literally and figuratively — we need a new executive in the C-suite: a chief medical officer.
That’s what Constellation Brands, which owns brands such as Robert Mondavi Winery, Casa Noble Tequila, and Corona beer, did when the pandemic first hit. As the fastest growing large consumer packaged goods company in the United States, Constellation has long embraced an agile approach, listening to trends and responding accordingly, which enabled it to quickly recognize that the Covid-19 crisis would be fluid for some time and that that its current leaders did not have the skills to respond to it. They needed an expert with medical and scientific training to fill the gap.
How did the company determine what the new person and their team would do? Tom Kane, Constellation’s human resources chief, recalls first looking at the immediate challenges, which included closing hospitality locations, establishing strict protocols for operations facilities that would remain open, and establishing safe reopening sequences and rules. The medical executive’s role would be to provide health-related advice and expertise to the executive, crisis management, and HR leadership teams as they made navigated the pandemic, informing risk assessment and policy recommendations in line with the varying guidelines befitting a multinational company.
Constellation’s appointment of Dr. Tim Malins as chief medical officer highlights three key reasons why this role is essential not only for today’s extenuating circumstances, but also for long-term growth.
Employee health. For Constellation and countless other hospitality businesses — from mom-and-pop shops to global restaurant chains — employees on the front lines are putting themselves at risk. Dr….