2014 Commencement Speaker
Retired Chairman, President and CEO, Immunex Corp.
Mr. Ed Fritzky was elected Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Immunex Corporation in January 1994. Founded as a biotechnology research company, Immunex concentrated its efforts on understanding the biology of the immune system, and the discovery and commercialization of breakthrough human therapeutics. During Mr. Fritzky's tenure, Immunex grew to become the third largest biotechnology company in the world. Immunex's lead product, Enbrel, was the first biotechnology product approved for the treatment of rheumatoid disease, psoriatic arthritis and ankolysing spondylitis. With hundreds of thousands of patients treated and sales measured in billions of dollars, Enbrel is one of the most successful biological therapeutics ever marketed. Mr. Fritzky led Immunex's effort to merge with Amgen, completing the largest merger in the history of the industry in July 2002.
In 2002, Mr. Fritzky was recognized by Forbes magazine as a "Best Boss in America," generating the highest annual shareholder return (+67% per year) over a six-year period. During his tenure, Immunex was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of America's "Best Places to Work," and one of America's fastest-growing companies. Mr. Fritzky served on the Amgen Board along with boards of other corporations and not-for-profit organizations.
Mr. Fritzky holds a B.A. from Duquesne University and is a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
In 2004, Duquesne announced the creation of the Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Chair in Biotechnology Leadership. Made possible through a $1.5 million gift by Mr. Fritzky, this interdisciplinary professorship is designed to unite biotechnology initiatives at the University and beyond, as well as to forge alliances with the biotechnology research community of greater Pittsburgh. That same year, Mr. Fritzky received an Honorary Doctor of Science from Duquesne. In 2005, he was inducted into the Century Club of Distinguished Duquesne University Alumni.
Mr. Fritzky is married to Karen, and has a son, Ryan, and daughter, Lisa. Fritzky family philanthropic efforts have emphasized leadership, healthcare and reading literacy.