CHRISTOPHE WEBER Takeda

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Christophe Weber

CEO, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

When Christophe Weber took over the CEO position, in 2015, his objective was to transform the centuries-old company into a top 10 global pharma player.

This year that mission was accomplished, thanks in big part to the $62 billion acquisition of Irish rival Shire, completed in January 2019. The deal was the largest takeover ever undertaken by a Japanese company and has accelerated Takeda’s global footprint, in particular increasing its exposure in the US market.

Tokyo-based Weber is already looking beyond the Shire deal. In June this year, he announced Takeda would be divesting much of its over-the-counter portfolio and focusing instead on its core prescription treatments.

Weber also ruffled some feathers in Japan when rumors surfaced of his plans to sell Takeda’s Osaka headquarters and cut spending on R&D. This kind of thinking is uncommon in Japan but is reflective of Weber’s direction for the company.

“As the world continues to navigate COVID-19, the speed and collaboration in the pursuit of treatments and vaccines is unprecedented,” Weber tells Business Insider. “At Takeda, this is what we do all the time: pushing the boundaries of collaboration to bring forth the next generation of therapies and making sure these treatments reach patients across the world.”