Eric Zwisler

Chairman of Cardinal Health China

Eric Zwisler

Chairman of Cardinal Health China


Eric is currently Chairman of Cardinal Health China, drugstore a subsidiary of Cardinal Health (CAH), see a Fortune 20 company.  He’s been involved in healthcare businesses in Asia and particularly China for the last 26 years.  Prior to his current role, he was President of Cardinal Health China for three years.

Eric has also served as CEO of Zuellig Pharma Asia Pacific, a privately owned industry leading Pan Asia healthcare distribution and services company with $8.5 billion turnover and 8,000 employees located in 15 Asian countries and regions.

Earlier in his career he established and built a breakthrough healthcare distribution and services business in China for Zuellig Pharma. In his role as CEO of Zuellig Pharma Asia Pacific, Eric oversaw the sale of the China subsidiary to Cardinal Health in 2010 for $470 million.  Following the sale Eric returned to China to head-up the company he founded, now an integrated life sciences distribution and services company handling over $6 billion annually.

Eric is well versed in the acquisition and integration of Chinese companies having acquired over 12 Chinese-owned manufacturing, distribution, IT services and specialty retail pharmacy companies.  He’s negotiated, established and operated all forms of foreign investment in China, from minority share JV’s to wholly foreign owned enterprises.   He’s knowledgeable in a wide range of healthcare industries, products and service businesses, including pharma, over-the-counter, consumer healthcare, vaccine, device, med tech, lab/IVD product lines, as well as service offerings for pharma, medical device and med tech suppliers, hospitals and retail pharmacies, and services such as third party logistics, specialty pharmacy and IT channel management solutions.

Eric has been recognized by the highest levels of the Chinese government for his contributions to business and society, including the Friendship Medal (2008), the highest national level award bestowed on foreigners in China.  He is also an Honorary Citizen of Shanghai (2004), silver and gold Magnolia Medal honoree, and one of the first foreigners given permanent residence in China.

Eric is chairman of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), the international trade organization of pharmaceutical distributors that helps its members and stakeholders advance the safe, efficient and continuous access to pharmaceuticals worldwide through the promotion of good distribution practices and services.

He is an independent director of Fibrogen China, a San Francisco research-based biotechnology company using its expertise in connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) biology to discover, develop, and commercialize novel therapeutics for serious unmet medical needs.

He is also a board member of the Jane Goodall Institute in Shanghai, a China registered NGO promoting sustainable ecological concepts to the youth of China, and a board member of ChinaYES, a US registered 501(3)c promoting environmental protection concepts to the youth of China.

Eric is an active member of YPO/WPO, Pan Asia chapter.

Eric is a graduate of Carroll University with a degree in economics (1980) and holds an MBA (1982) and completed course work for a Masters in Chinese Studies (1987) from the University of Michigan, He holds a Chinese language certificate (1988) from the Inter-university Center for Chinese Studies (Stanford Center) in Taipei.  He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Eric is a keen China observer and a frequent commentator on national political, economic and healthcare industry trends.  His most recent publications are:

A Chinese JV Means Big Work for the Board,” Board and Directors, March 2013.

Board Oversight of Corruption Issues in China,” Directorship (the magazine of the National Association of

Corporate Directors – NACD), August 2013.

He and his wife Tori have lived in China for the past 26 years.