Switzerland

Ernesto Bertarelli
Co-President, Bertarelli Foundation

Although born in Italy, Ernesto Bertarelli’s family moved to Switzerland in 1977.  He attended Babson College in Massachusetts and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.  In 1996 he became CEO of his family’s biotechnology firm Serono, which he took over and ran with his sister after the death of their father.  During this time, the company showed a huge increase in revenues, due in large part to the multiple sclerosis drug Rebif.  In 2007 the company was sold to Merck.  He now serves as a member of the Harvard Medical School Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Advisory Council.


Mr. Bertarelli, an avid sailor, founded the yachting team Alinghi, which defeated Team New Zealand in 2003 to win the America’s Cup, the first time a team won the trophy on its first try.  It won again in 2007.


The Bertarelli family created the Bertarelli Foundation in 1999 to manage its philanthropic activities.  Ernesto and his sister Dona are Co-Presidents of the Foundation.  Although initially established to promote research in the area of infertility, it was expanded to include the fields of life sciences, the environment, education, culture, children and sport.  Among its many initiatives, it is currently involved in the research Centre for Neuroprosthetics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and entered into a partnership with the British government to safeguard the world’s largest marine reserve in the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.





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