Founder and executive chairman of PPD Inc., the company he established as a one-person consulting firm in 1985. With 38 offices across the globe, PPD, Inc. is a leading contract research organization providing discovery, development and post-approval services as well as compound partnering programs. Its clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology,medical device, academic and government organizations.
Also served as Chief Executive Officer from July 1990 to July 2009 and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors from July 1993 to July 2009.
Earlier in his career, he served as Senior Vice President, Development, and as a director of Glaxo Inc., a subsidiary of Glaxo Holdings plc.
In 2008 the UNC School of Pharmacy was renamed in honor of Fred Eshelman, a member of the Class of 1972, in recognition of the extensive financial support he has provided to the school.