CEO Christophe Weber on Why Takeda’s Unique Corporate Governance Structure Works

How a decentralized approach and an independent board are driving Takeda’s success.  


A corporation without strong and effective governance is like a train without a track. That concept is not lost on President and CEO of Takeda Christophe Weber, as the company forges ahead on its transformational journey as a values-based, R&D-driven, global biopharmaceutical leader.

Headquartered in Japan, but with a worldwide reach that now extends to 80 countries and regions, Takeda is no stranger to the global stage. The recent acquisition of Shire has also opened up unprecedented opportunities for further growth. Critical to this success, Weber states, has been an advanced and robust corporate governance model supported by a largely independent board of directors.

Weber recently spoke on this topic during at a CEO roundtable at the Milken Institute’s first Japan Symposium. This exclusive, invitation-only event convened heads of large financial institutions, senior business leaders, top institutional investors, and high-level government officials from Japan, the Asia-Pacific region and the United States.

"As we embark on a new chapter following the Shire acquisition, our strong and effective governance model, supported by a diverse, global team of highly experienced leaders from 11 different nations and a largely independent board structure, will provide the strategic agility necessary for us to move swiftly and prudently," Weber said. Diversity, experience and an unwavering commitment to Takeda’s core values, Weber confidently adds, have positioned the company for success during its ongoing integration with Shire and beyond.

Empowering Global Leaders to Meet Local Needs 
Delivering highly innovative medicines on a global scale while serving the ever-evolving needs of patients and their localities is a constant challenge. The process is filled with uncertainties, and biopharmaceutical companies must always look to the future, readying themselves to change course quickly and effectively.

Balancing strength with agility, Takeda is structured with an advanced, decentralized governance model that empowers its global leaders to make critical decisions based on an in-depth understanding of the specific, local needs of the patients.

The Heart of Governance
Moving forward with Shire – as One Takeda – Weber is confident the company’s accelerated transformation will deliver even greater opportunities for success. A key component in guaranteeing a smooth integration, and in the realization of Takeda’s long-term vision, is the composition of its Board.

To maximize its effectiveness, Takeda’s advanced governance model prioritizes independence, with members whose competencies are aligned with its forward-looking strategy. Japan's corporate governance code recommends at least 33 percent of a company's board be comprised of outside directors, but at Takeda, 73 percent of its 15 directors are external. The functioning of the board is overseen by Independent Chairman and external director Masahiro Sakane, who brings a deep expertise in helping Japanese companies globalize having advised on numerous transactions over his career. Takeda’s unique and robust board composition demonstrates an undeniably strong commitment to transparency and accountability.

“Our unchanged values, grounded in a heritage that spans over 230 years, are the compass guiding us on the right path to success,” Weber said. “Our strong governance has kept—and will continue to keep—Takeda focused on doing the right thing for patients, building trust with society, reinforcing our reputation, and developing our business.”