People

Safi Bahcall

Safi Bahcall

Formal First Name
Safi
Dates
1968 - present
Location

Safi Bahcall is a physicist, technologist, business executive, and author of Loonshots, which has been translated into 18 languages; recommended by Bill Gates, three Nobel laureates, Malcolm Gladwell, and Tim Ferriss; and selected as a best business book of the year by Amazon, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes, Inc., Newsweek, Strategy + Business, Tech Crunch, and the Washington Post. After spending three years as a consultant for McKinsey, Safi co-founded Synta Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company that developed new drugs for cancer. He led Synta’s IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. In 2011, Safi worked with President Obama’s council of science advisors on the future of national research. Today, Safi advises CEOs and leadership teams on strategy and innovation, and has delivered keynote presentations at industry conferences, investor events, leadership retreats, medical meetings, and leading academic institutions around the world.

Professional Experience


Academic History

LOONSHOTS

  • Loonshots reveals the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

  • The book identifies the small shifts in structure that controls transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice.

  • Loonshots was an instant WSJ bestseller, ranked #1 Most Recommended Book of the year by Bloomberg's annual survey of CEOs and entrepreneurs.

  • Best Business Book of the Year by Amazon, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes, Newsweek, Strategy + Business, TechCrunch, and Washington Post.

  • The book has been recommended by Bill Gates, Daniel Kahneman, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, Sid Mukherjee, and Tim Ferriss.

  • Dubbed as a must-read “for people and organizations who are trying to increase their ability to catalyze more innovation” by Forbes magazine.


EARLY CAREER

  • He began his career as a consultant in McKinsey & Co., where he advised investment banks and pharma companies on strategy, tech, and operations.

  • He co-founded a drug discovery company that was focused on novel ion channel research, which was absorbed into Synta Pharmaceuticals.


MEDIA & APPEARANCES

  • In 2010, Safi and his work was featured in a Malcolm Gladwell profile in The New Yorker magazine.

  • He has delivered keynote presentations at industry conferences, investor events, leadership retreats, medical meetings, and leading academic institutions worldwide.


HONORS & RECOGNITIONS

  • 2008 E&Y New England Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year