Health and Science

The CEOs health-care execs would trade places with

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Executives of the biggest companies in health care descended on the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference earlier this week to talk clinical drug trial results and their long-term outlooks on the biopharmaceuticals sector, but also shared with CNBC's Meg Tirrell the CEOs they'd most like to trade places with if given the chance.

Biogen Idec CEO George Scangos said he'd trade places with Tesla Motors and SpaceX founder Elon Musk "because he started Tesla from the ground up, he did what other people said couldn't be done. At the same time he had SpaceX. Those are two amazing companies and he's an amazing guy."

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaking in Detroit, January 13, 2015.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

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Agios CEO David Schenkein and Actavis CEO Brent Saunders both said they'd trade places with an Apple executive.

"I would have said Steve Jobs because I'm an Apple geek and I've been an Apple geek since the early '80s," Schenkein said.

Saunders named current Apple CEO Tim Cook as the executive he'd most like to trade places with. "He's innovative, disruptive and courageous … three qualities I highly admire."

Ariad Pharmaceuticals founder Harvey Berger chose perhaps a more fun position, CEO of Disney, calling it the most interesting company in the world.

Both Acorda Therapeutics CEO Ron Cohen and Cigna President David Cordani picked Virgin Group founder Richard Branson as the executive they'd most like to trade places with.

"I would be the CEO of the Philadelphia Eagles because maybe I could help them win," said Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier.