Japan's top drugmaker appoints first foreign boss

Japan's top drugmaker said Saturday it had picked a GlaxoSmithKline executive as its next president in a rare example of overseas head-hunting by a major Japanese firm.

The board of directors at Takeda Pharmaceutical, which has been active in foreign acquisitions in recent years, approved 47-year-old French Christophe Weber, as and candidate as the next chief executive.

He will be the first non-Japanese chief in 230 years of history at the company based in western Japan's Osaka.

Weber will join Takeda to take the role of chief operating officer by April 2014 and is expected to become president upon approval at a general meeting of shareholders in June, Takeda said in a statement.

Current president and chief executive Yasuchika Hasegawa is expected to become chairman and chief executive.

"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 the statement.

Weber, educated at the University of Lyon, has held various positions at GSK in Europe, United States and the Asia-Pacific region.

Takeda operates in more than 70 countries after its 2011 acquisition of major Swiss rival Nycomed for $14 billion.

There are only a handful of foreign chiefs at leading Japanese companies. Carlos Ghosn, the of French auto group Renault who also heads Nissan Motor, is one of the most prominent.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japanese firm buys US pharmaceutical company

Oct 05, 2012

(AP)—A Japanese pharmaceutical company is acquiring LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals in a $60 million deal to expand its vaccine division, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. announced.

US drug firm Mylan to buy Indian firm for $1.6 bn

Feb 27, 2013

US generic drugs specialist Mylan said Thursday it would buy a unit of India's pharma firm Strides Arcolab for $1.6 billion, boosting its presence in the high-growth injectable drugs market.

Recommended for you

Experts want restrictions on testosterone drug use (Update)

22 hours ago

Federal health experts said Wednesday there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs are effective for treating common signs of aging in men and that their use should be narrowed to exclude millions of Americans ...

Big cities take aim at prescription painkillers

Sep 16, 2014

Some of the nation's largest cities are ratcheting up their criticism of prescription painkillers, blaming the industry for a wave of addiction and overdoses that have ravaged their communities and busted local budgets.

World Health Organization policy improves use of medicines

Sep 16, 2014

In this issue of PLOS Medicine, Kathleen Holloway from WHO and David Henry (University of Toronto, Canada) evaluated data on reported adherence to WHO essential medicines practices and measures of quality use of medicines from 5 ...

User comments