"Swedish people have found the key to worklife balance"

Describe your role at the company, and briefly your background / experience of living and working in other countries.

– I am Managing Director of MSD (Merck Sharp and Dohme), leading global pharmaceutical company. I arrived in Sweden one year ago from France. Previously I was Vice President within a vaccines joint venture in charge of leading operations across 10  EU countries, so I have a good flavor of the European countries landscape.

What expectations did you have before moving to Sweden?

– Moving to Sweden has been an “on the spot” family decision. As in this usual expatriation transition, several country options were discussed. When we heard about Sweden, we decided immediately for both the family experience and also businesswise the attractiveness of the Swedish lifesciences innovation landscape.

How did it turn out?

– One year after, Swedish family honeymoon goes on! My children are more happy than ever. Sophia, my wife, after one year of a fruitful sabbatical just started a new job in lifesciences. Interestingly thanks to Stockholm localization, she managed to get a global role while working remotely from Sweden. Business wise, Innovation is indeed everywhere: at a time when healthcare is digitalizing, Sweden is definitely at the forefront.

What is the best thing about living in Sweden?

– Somewhat Swedish people have found the key to worklife balance. We operate in a stimulating environment of scientific and business excellence and in the meantime, the level of people and family focus is at highest levels. If the future of healthcare is towards improved life behaviours and prevention including through exercise, then Sweden is also there in a leading position.

Would you recommend others to move here?

– Definitely, being straight, I can’t believe Sweden is a destination we can say no to; otherwise it means one is probably not ready to move.. and that would be really a pity to miss this unique Swedish experience.

What do you think of Sweden in regard to equality and other social aspects?

– Simply another reason to love Sweden. To this aspect, I am particularly thinking about children: I have 2 daughters and a son and I feel particularly good that they are raised in an environment where they are all equally empowered and develop the values and behaviours that will make a sustainable world.

In your opinion, which is the most beautiful place in Sweden?

– As I m part of the ones who feel better with water around, I would say that Stockholm archipelago represents an endless garden of nature beauties

Which is the best Swedish tradition?

– I would say that I keep a strong souvenir of a recent crayfish party..

Back to EMA to Sweden >

Marc Gailhardou

Managing Director of MSD (Merck Sharp and Dohme)