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Takeda appoints GSK's Weber as chief operating officer

Could take on CEO role next year

Takeda has named GlaxoSmithKline's Christophe Weber as its chief operating officer, with the possibility of stepping up to the chief executive role next year.

47-year-old French national Weber - who currently heads GSK's vaccines division in Belgium and was formerly a director of the group's Asia-Pacific business - will take over as COO in April.

He could also be named president, subject to shareholder approval. If he then goes on to become CEO, Weber would become the first foreigner to lead the company in its 230-year history.

Current president and CEO Yasuchika Hasegawa is expected to be named chairman and interim CEO at Takeda in June, but could hand over the reins within the following few months if the board is happy with the choice of successor. 67-year-old Hasegawa started the search for a new CEO last year.

Takeda is Japan's largest pharma company and has set itself the aim of evolving into a truly global pharma company, making a significant move in that direction with the acquisition of Nycomed in 2011 for €9.6bn (around $14bn).

The group sees expansion into overseas and emerging markets as the primary means to turn around the business, which was hit hard by the patent expiry on blockbuster diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) last year.

That strategy has also seen it make a number of international hires in recent months, for example appointing François-Xavier Roger as its chief financial officer in September and Phillip Duncan as chief procurement officer.

"We have extremely high expectations for Mr Weber's contributions to further enhance and accelerate the implementation of Takeda's global strategy," Hasegawa said in a statement.

Article by
Phil Taylor

2nd December 2013

From: Sales

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