Dr. Lechleiter Reflects on His Last Global Day of Service

Today’s guest post comes from John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman, president and chief executive officer at Lilly.

Peterson Lechleiter Banos Mexico GDOS 9-28-16

Giving back to our communities has been an integral part of our heritage for 140 years.

Our company and employees give back every day, but I’ve seen no more visible example of this spirit of caring than our annual Global Day of Service. After completing my ninth and final Global Day of Service as CEO, I’m thankful for the impact we’ve made on our communities together. We’ve changed buildings, streets, neighborhoods, cities and – most importantly – lives. And along the way, we’ve helped people see who we are as a company. 

Since our first Global Day of Service in 2008 – which was also my first year as CEO – the event has grown to include more than 24,000 employees in 70 countries giving back to the communities where we live and work. The idea started in our Canadian affiliate when incoming president and CEO Dave Ricks served there as general manager, and we’ve since adopted it worldwide.


Over the past nine years, I’ve had the opportunity to lend a hand to a wide array of projects in our hometown of Indianapolis and in several locations around the world. For my final Global Day of Service, I worked with our team and local partners on beautification projects around our new affiliate headquarters in Mexico City.

Witnessing so many colleagues in Lilly red and Elanco blue shirts fan out to improve communities around the world has filled me with great pride. It encapsulates in one day who we are and one of the reasons why so many of us came to Lilly in the first place. As I near retirement from Lilly, I know our long legacy of giving is in safe hands. Wherever we are, we will continue to make life better for individuals, our communities and the world around us.