Australia & New Zealand Leadership

A culture committed to putting patients first

George Varkanis
Vice President & Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand

George VarkanisGeorge Varkanis assumed the role of Vice President & Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand in September 2013 with responsibility for Celgene’s commercial operations in the region.

With significant international experience in Haematology and Oncology, George returned to Australia and established Celgene Australia in March 2006. In February 2009 he went into the role of Vice President for Asia Pacific setting up and managing a new regional leadership team.

George has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience through numerous senior commercial roles, predominantly with Pharmacia Corporation over 12 years, based in Europe and the worldwide headquarters in the United States. At Pharmacia he held positions as the Head of the Oncology business for Europe and Latin America well as leading efforts in the early commercial development of new products. After earning a B.Sc. degree from Flinders University and a Graduate Diploma in Business Management from the Adelaide University George worked in Medical Virology research before starting his career in the industry with Bristol Myers Squibb.

Albert Spanos
Head of Operations & Corporate Affairs, Australia & New Zealand

Albert Spanos

Albert has enjoyed a career which currently spans nearly 30 years in the Australian Pharmaceutical Industry having held senior roles in Sales, Marketing, Business Development, General Management, Corporate Affairs, Established Brands, Medical Affairs and Market Access across many therapeutic areas in Primary Care, Pharmacy and Specialist medicine. Albert has worked in both large Pharmaceutical companies (Pharmacia/Pfizer) and biopharmaceutical/biotechnology companies (Celgene). During his career Albert has been a member of numerous global teams at both Pharmacia/Pfizer and Celgene gaining a clear understanding of the global implications of the Australian Pharmaceutical landscape helping impart this knowledge with senior Committees within Medicines Australia and using this expertise to successfully negotiate the PBS listing of several Celgene products during his time at Celgene.

As the second Australian employee Albert was involved in the establishment of Celgene in Australia and is currently the Head of Operations and Corporate Affairs.

Darren Hunt
Senior Finance Director, Australia & New Zealand

Darren HuntDarren Hunt has been with Celgene since 2007. Prior to becoming Senior Finance Director, ANZ, Darren oversaw the finance operations of APAC for a period of 4 years. He also spent two years in the US at Celgene Headquarters based in New Jersey which involved working on the integration teams for both Gloucester Pharmaceuticals and Abraxis Bioscience acquisitions.

From 2001 to 2007 Darren was the Finance Manager for PlantTech Pty Ltd which operated in the agricultural business. Prior to 2001 Darren worked for Iveco Trucks in numerous finance roles over a period of 12 years, including the last two years as the Financial Controller of Truckline Pty Ltd.

Darren attended Deakin University, where he completed his Bachelor of Business, Accounting in 1994. He also is a member of CPA Australia.

Mafalda Lou
Senior Director, Human Resources

Mafalda LouMafalda Lou joined Celgene in January 2011 as Senior Director Human Resources and built our HR function within the Asia Pacific region from inception.

Mafalda has over 26 years experience in Human Resources and her career to date has been predominantly in the Healthcare industry, including Clinical Diagnostics, Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Vision Systems (now known as Leica Sytems), and Dorevitch Pathology. Included in the portfolio of companies Mafalda has served are a mixture of start -up companies through to large multinational companies, where her responsibilities also ranged from Global through to Regional leadership roles. Mafalda also has extensive international experience having worked abroad for a number of years in the USA, UK and Singapore.

Michelle Benison
Country Manager, Haematology & Oncology, Australia & New Zealand

Michelle B (2)Michelle Benison joined Celgene in 2010 and was given responsibility of the Country Manager for Haematology/Oncology Australia and New Zealand in January 2015. Prior to this Michelle headed up the Sales and Marketing operations for Haematology/Oncology at Celgene.

Michelle has extensive experience across the pharmaceutical industry which she joined over 20 years ago. She started her career at Roussel Uclaf which quickly became Hoechst Marion Roussel, then Aventis and finally Sanofi Aventis where she held a variety of roles within various therapeutic areas with the vast majority of her experience in the Haematology/Oncology space. Post this, Michelle worked at Orphan Australia which gave her insight into novel, highly specialised products to treat serious or life-threatening conditions where treatment choice is limited or inadequate.

Malcolm Jackson
Country Manager, Inflammation & Immunology, Australia & New Zealand

Malcom Jackson- no background 2014Malcolm is an experienced pharmaceutical professional with over 17 years industry experience spanning: sales, sales management, training, marketing and commercial management. He has managed key products within all stages of the product lifecycle.

Malcolm joined Celgene in June 2014 coming from Pfizer as their Business Unit Manager – Immunology. Malcolm managed the business unit, looking after a team of 20 dedicated sales and marketing colleagues. He lead this business unit for over 6 years as he was the Business Unit Manager at Wyeth and managed the integration with Pfizer in 2009.

Prior to Malcolm heading up the Enbrel Business Unit at Wyeth, he was a Team Leader at Pfizer looking after the Pain Management portfolio. He held previous marketing roles as well as being a Sales Manager and Training Manager. Proceeding his management roles he was a sale representative in both primary and specialist settings.

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