Henri A. Termeer was appointed president of Genzyme Corporation in 1983, two years after the company's founding. He became its chief executive officer in 1985 and chairman in 1988. Under his leadership, Genzyme has grown from a modest entrepreneurial venture to one of the world's leading biotechnology companies.
Mr. Termeer is recognized as a pioneer in developing and delivering treatments to patients with rare genetic diseases around the world. This work has provided the foundation for Genzyme's success, and today the company is diversified across medical areas including genetic diseases, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant and immune diseases, and diagnostic testing.
Widely acknowledged for his contributions to the biotechnology industry and health care field, Mr. Termeer is active in the areas of humanitarian assistance, policy issues, and innovation in providing access to health care. He serves on the board of directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. He is a director of Massachusetts General Hospital, a board member of Partners HealthCare and a member of the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School.
Mr. Termeer is chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's board of directors and a board member of Abiomed Inc. In 2008, he was appointed to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's Council of Economic Advisors, and he is a co-chair of the Leadership Council of the Mass. Life Sciences Collaborative. Mr. Termeer is also chairman emeritus of the New England Healthcare Institute, a nonprofit, applied research health policy organization he was instrumental in founding.
Born in the Netherlands, he studied economics at Erasmus University before obtaining an MBA in 1973 from the University of Virginia. Termeer began his biotech career at Baxter International in 1973 and quickly climbed the ranks in that company. In 1983, Termeer was invited to join a small company called Genzyme.
Termeer stayed active in biotech, serving on boards at Moderna, Verastem and others and investing part of the $158 million windfall of cash he earned in the Sanofi buyout in a long lineup of upstarts. Arrakis, founded by serial entrepreneur Michael Gilman, was the last to earn his support just last February. He backed Kees Been as a co-founder at Lysosomal Therapeutics.