Ernesto Bertarelli

Ernesto Bertarelli

Ernesto Bertarelli

Ernesto Bertarelli inherited biotech giant Serono, maker of the multiple sclerosis drug Rebif, following his father's death in 1998.

Early Years and Education

Ernesto Bertarelli was born on September 22, 1965, in Rome, Italy. His family moved to Switzerland, where he grew up. After finishing school in Switzerland, Bertarelli continued his education at Babson College in Massachusetts, USA, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Career at Serono

Bertarelli began his business career at the family company Serono, a pharmaceutical firm specializing in biotechnology. The company was founded by his grandfather in 1906. Ernesto and his sister Dona inherited Serono after the death of their father in 1998. Under Ernesto's leadership, Serono transitioned from a pharmaceutical company with a broad range of interests to a biotech giant, especially known for developing a drug for infertility treatment called Gonal-f.

Sale of Serono and Biotechnological Achievements

Bertarelli became CEO in 2000, and the company's fortune significantly increased. After developing several successful drugs, Bertarelli and his family sold Serono to the German company Merck KGaA in 2007 for €10.6 billion, one of the largest biotech deals in Europe.

Achievements in Sailing

Besides success in the biotechnology industry, Bertarelli is an enthusiastic sailor. His team Alinghi made history by winning the America's Cup in 2003, becoming the first European team to do so since the competition began in 1851. Alinghi successfully defended the title in 2007 but lost it in 2010.

Philanthropy and the Bertarelli Foundation

In addition to business and sailing, Bertarelli is actively involved in charity through the Bertarelli Foundation, which he founded with his sister and mother. The foundation supports various projects, especially those related to the conservation of marine resources and neurological research.

Personal Life and Family

Ernesto Bertarelli's personal life also deserves attention; he married Kirsty Roper, the former Miss UK, in 2000, and they have three children. The wealth and influence of the family extend to various enterprises and investments, including real estate and other industries.

Awards and Recognition

Bertarelli continues to be an influential figure in the fields of business and charity, and he has received several awards and honors reflecting his contribution to science, nature conservation, and sports. His story is a tale of entrepreneurship, strategic vision, and commitment to advancing human health and protecting the environment.