From Ethics and Compliance Warrior to Sustainability Evangelist: AstraZeneca’s Jim Massey Keeps the Focus on People

“The one thing that has remained constant is--whether it’s my compliance years or my sustainability years--I always have my listening ears on.

Jim Massey 

In this episode of the Principled podcast, the Vice-President of Sustainability at AstraZeneca, Jim Massey is interviewed by host Ben DiPietro, Editor of LRN’s Pulse Newsletter. Jim is leading his Compliance colleagues to expand their role to global sustainability, which has allowed for them to take up more space in meetings and to address larger issues, such as access to healthcare. Conversations that focus on the “why” behind company values and direction, as well as keeping communications simple and easily translatable across the multinational company have supported Ethics and Compliance buy-in at all levels. AstraZeneca is focusing on improving diversity and inclusion by encouraging employees to speak up and treating each person as an individual.



Headshot of guest, Jim Massey

Jim Massey is a sustainability leader at AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company. He has an innovative, agile approach to drive the environmental, social and governance expectations for a multinational company with a workforce of more than 65,000 people operating across six continents. 

He drives the need to connect every business decision to company values, and believes doing the right thing is more than a tag line; it’s a way of working that fulfills expectations for all stakeholders, not just investors. Massey embraces his leadership purpose to remove barriers, so those willing can be who they need to be in the world. He gets results by providing the safety net for others to try, and if needed, try again. 

Massey received his BSBA in marketing from the University of Missouri, and a Masters in organization development from Johns Hopkins University. 



  • [0:50] How did you come to oversee Sustainability and Compliance at AstraZeneca? 

  • [2:06] What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in integrating Ethics and Compliance with sustainability and social issue awareness? How did you overcome these challenges?

  • [4:02] Now that you’ve gone through the process of melding together Ethics and Compliance and Sustainability, what were the outcomes?

  • [5:30]Are there still times when Ethics and Compliance must be separated from Sustainability?

  • [6:33] Do you get pushback from colleagues that are on a different adoption curve than you are?

  • [7:28] How can Ethics and Compliance lay the groundwork for better relationships with other business units? Are other business units now more willing to embrace Ethics and Compliance than in the past?

  • [8:40] How can training and messaging be more effective to get higher levels of support and buy-in from employees, business units, management, and the board?

  • [10:46] Do you have to take a different approach when it comes to management and the board?

  • [11:39] How is AstraZeneca working towards diversity and inclusion, and what can other organizations do to improve in this area?

  • [14:32] What are two issues you see as being dominant for Ethics and Compliance departments in the next five or 10 years?

  • [15:27] What do you see for the Ethics and Compliance profession over the next 25 years?


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