About Us


Dr. John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D.

Dr. John Lechleiter retired as Eli Lilly’s President and Chief Executive Officer on December 31, 2016, after more than 37 years of service. He served as Chairman of Lilly’s Board of Directors from January 2009 through May 2017.   

Dr. Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in the chemical process research and development division. He became head of his department in 1982.  He subsequently held roles in product development, project management, regulatory affairs, and pharmaceutical operations. In 2005, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer and joined Lilly’s board of directors. He became Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2008.   

Dr. Lechleiter earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Xavier University in 1975 and masters and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He has received honorary degrees from Marian University, the University of Indianapolis, the National University of Ireland, Indiana University, Franklin College, Purdue University, and Butler University. 

Dr. Lechleiter is a member of the American Chemical Society. He serves on Marian University’s President’s Advisory Council, the Dean’s Advisory Council for the IUPUI School of Science, the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health Advancement Council, the board of directors of the Hoosier Art Salon, and the SKL Advisory Council of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series.   

He is an honorary trustee of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and a member emeritus of the board of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. He also serves on the boards of Battelle, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, Lilly Endowment, Inc., and Eskenazi Health Foundation. Dr. Lechleiter is a former member of the boards of Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Nike, Inc. and Ford Motor Company, in addition to Eli Lilly and Company. 

Dr. Lechleiter and his wife, Sarah Lueke Lechleiter, have three children, Daniel, Andrew, and Elizabeth, and nine grandchildren. In 2016, Dr. and Mrs. Lechleiter jointly received the Charles L. Whistler Award for service to the Indianapolis community. In 2017, they were each awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Eric Holcomb. Dr. Lechleiter was inducted into the Indiana Academy in 2019 by the Independent Colleges of Indiana.