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The Heart of Technology

In Focus
NAME:Sam Pierre-Louis
COMPANY:Amicus Therapeutics
LOCATION:Princeton, US
Amicus Therapeutics develops and delivers treatments for rare diseases. CIO Samuel Pierre-Louis is ensuring technology and innovation are at the heart of the company, as it continues to offer new treatment options to people living with these devastating conditions.

The 2010 movie, Extraordinary Measures, captures the true story of couple, John and Aileen Crowley, fighting to save two of their children from a rare genetic condition called Pompe disease.

In a bid to find a treatment, John left his day job to co-found a biotech startup to research a new experimental treatment for Pompe, a condition that affects one in 40,000 people. John later sold the business to a larger player in 2001.

In 2005, John founded Amicus Therapeutics to broaden his mission, discovering and developing medicines for patients living with rare diseases.

His mission serves as a north star for the organizations he’s founded and helps to attract top talent like Chief Information Officer (CIO) Sam Pierre-Louis, an executive driven by meaning and a purpose in his daily work.

“They are a very mission-focused organization. From the first person you interact with at Amicus, you’ll know in no uncertain terms,” Pierre-Louis tells The CEO Magazine. “That’s what really attracted me to the role.”

Making a Difference

A specialist in systems and cybersecurity, Pierre-Louis joined Amicus Therapeutics in 2021 as a Senior Vice President in the CIO role. He holds a PhD in Systems and Engineering Management from Texas Tech University and previously held senior IT positions in hospital systems and even served as Vice President of IT at FirstEnergy .

After two decades of climbing the corporate ladder, Pierre-Louis realized that he wanted to embark on an endeavor that was more human impact-oriented.

“When everything is said and done, one day I’m going to retire and I’ll look back and ask, ‘What difference have I made?’” he says.

“This an organization whose mission I am aligned with and fully support.”

That calling was realized when Pierre-Louis was extended the opportunity to practice authentic leadership at Amicus Therapeutics.

“In order to be an authentic leader, you have to understand why you are part of an organization. It can’t just be for the paycheck. It can’t just be for the cool technologies. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is this an organization whose mission I am aligned with and fully support?’”

Amicus Therapeutics was at a crossroads when Pierre-Louis started as CIO. It had developed a successful product and was working on bringing another to market.

“But we really needed to step up our transformational and operational excellence from an IT perspective. Technology is a great enabler to the business,” he says. “It was a great opportunity for me to contribute to the mission and growth trajectory of the organization.”

A Technology Overhaul

In his first two years, Pierre-Louis oversaw projects including transforming the service desk, overhauling communications technologies, installing the company’s first conversational AI chatbot and implementing an enterprise resource planning system.

His team has since started building the foundational structure required to further integrate AI and improve analytics.

Importantly, Pierre-Louis has fomented a cultural change by giving IT a voice in company decisions. Rather than simply taking orders, he explains how IT now really comes to the table with solutions and new ideas.


“I’m starting the conversation with, ‘What is the business objective? What value are we trying to derive from this project?’” he explains. “From there, we can back into the technologies.”

With the CIO now having a seat at the table, costly outlays for underused technology can be avoided, Pierre-Louis says.

“It goes back to those systems engineering pieces of IT. We’re not just shooting in the dark, buying this or that technology with no understanding of how it all fits in the bigger system,” he explains.

Encouraging Innovation

Thanks to his background in systems engineering, Pierre-Louis speaks passionately about fostering innovation at Amicus Therapeutics and does not believe that innovation is merely an accidental by-product of other initiatives.

“From a systems perspective, innovation needs to be built into your system and needs to be incentivized. Right now, we’re working at Amicus to instill innovation within our systems,” he says.

“Technology is a great enabler to the business.”

Innovation is accentuated through the development of an ecosystem of strategic partnerships and an understanding of  ‘what is core’ to the company, Pierre-Louis explains. For Amicus, those partnerships include Pomeroy, a managed workplace services provider.

“As businesses are thinking about their capabilities and what is core or not core to the company, those business decisions have a technology input,” he continues. “This fact alone reinforces the need for the CIO to have a seat at the table as those initiatives are being introduced and vetted. The technological impact cannot be overstated.”

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