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Astellas Pharma Associate Director, Commercial Excellence in Northbrook, Illinois

Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture.

There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company.

Astellas is announcing an Associate Director, Commercial Excellence in Northbrook, IL.

Purpose & Scope:

The position is a key member of Commercial Excellence (ComEx), part of Commercial Strategy & Operations (CS&O), for Astellas US Commercial (US-C). This role will support the project visibility and enhanced project execution of strategic initiatives for US-C through the Astellas Project Management Methodology framework with the organization senior leadership across multiple products. This position will also enable establishment of standardized processes, project governance, tools and appropriate cost controls to support enterprise and select non-enterprise initiatives. The person in this position will act as a change agent promoting change and transformation within US-C while collaborating regionally and globally. The person in this position will also lead teams in collaboration with the commercial launch teams, in-line brand teams, and appropriate cross-functional colleagues to accelerate strategies, capabilities, and infrastructure to optimize product launch and ongoing commercialization capabilities across the organization until the end of the product's lifecycle.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop and drive best-in-class project management practices, thought leadership, and capabilities (e.g., Waterfall, Agile methodologies) to provide support and thought leadership to brand lead and cross-functional teams for enterprise-wide corporate strategic initiatives or select non-enterprise initiatives that drive growth (e.g., business transformation, new capability build), increase operational efficiency (e.g., process improvement) or maximize enterprise value (e.g., launch excellence, loss of exclusivity planning, life cycle management).

  • Develop and drive all project management activities including developing business case, project charter and governance, providing updates to senior leadership, developing and reporting milestone updates of project implementation and monitoring to ensure successful outcomes, facilitating and leading effective project meetings, managing change and conflict, developing resource planning estimates, and managing timelines and budgets. Ensure financial objectives of organization are met by partnering with finance to forecast financial requirements and expected benefits for global and large regional strategic initiatives.

  • US-C Projects in scope for this role would include but not be limited to:

o Product launches with a co-promote partner or one complex in scope such as a new product within existing or new line of therapy or a large potential indication expansion either directly or with the support of a Senior Manager or external resource handling project coordination activities.

o Evaluation and execution of selected planned loss of exclusivity options complex in scope such as taking a branded product to authorized generic or to over-the-counter as lead or with support from senior manager within Commercial Excellence or external resource.

  • Collaborate with global launch team acting as US-C liaison and thought leader in development of initial pre-launch strategies and planning for new products and/or indications in new therapeutic spaces.

  • Partner with brand team to develop appropriate key productivity indicators (KPIs) for initiatives and report metrics and actively provide mitigation plans and/or course correction plans throughout year to ensure execution of brand plan value for what is within Astellas' control. Lead efforts with priority brands to identify and make recommendations to US-C senior leadership to ensure appropriately planned loss of exclusivity options are considered for priority brand overseeing life-cycle initiatives.

  • Provide strategic thought leadership in collaboration with brand leaders with the development of the entire annual brand plan including managing the deliverables in that development process including coordinating situational analysis, strategic planning through tactical planning and KPI identification and tracking.

  • Lead execution of a portfolio of projects supporting cross-functionally across US-C one or more priority brands with a co-promote partner delivering value. Collaborate with brand and extended team including co-promote partner counterparts on regular intervals to ensure brand plan execution and stakeholders stay current on all relevant issues.

  • Identify gaps in existing guidebook and/or develop new guidebooks to drive continuous improvement on all facets of the product life-cycle support to bring knowledge and visibility to the organization expanding US-C capabilities. Collaborate with other regions and functions across Astellas to share initiatives, approach, and best practices driving the One Astellas culture.

  • Mentor new team members and direct their on-boarding into the Commercial Excellence team. Coach internal resources (e.g. Sr. Manager) and external consultants (e.g. WeDELIVER) and provide development feedback to Director, Com Ex in supporting execution of brand / above the brand initiatives.

  • Develop and train CS&O and other functions within US-C on pragmatic project management methodologies and tools to strengthen US-C's execution capabilities.

  • Develop and lead execution of action plans coming out of any benchmarking and/or feedback generation activities lead by Com Ex Team relative to improving team's performance or expanding remit to new areas to drive continuous value to organization.

  • Support development and maintenance of associated project policies and business standard operating procedures for the organization.

Quantitative Dimensions:

This position drives the successful execution of select non-enterprise and enterprise-wide corporate strategic initiatives as outlined in this job description in support of the commercial function to ensure outcomes aligned to business goals impacting the performance of Astellas US-C are achieved. It also is responsible for collaborating with other related functions within the other Astellas regions (e.g. EST-C, INT-M, ACN, JPN-C, and API Business PMO) as well as global functions (e.g. Ethics & Compliance, Medical Affairs, Commercial Strategy & Capabilities) on projects/initiatives as needed.

Budget management for strategic initiatives managed by the department resources directly as well as providing oversight to the initiative budget process are also key areas of impact for the position.

Organizational Context:

Commercial Excellence is a highly collaborative function integrating business strategy into, and ensuring, implementations are well orchestrated within stated governance framework. This position will require a high degree of communication with senior leadership, as well as collaboration with higher level internal colleagues across multiple functions and regions and external partners such as co-promotion partners.

This position will report to the Director, Commercial Excellence. This position may have internal and/or external resources reporting indirectly depending upon needs of initiatives being executed



  • Bachelor's Degree with a minimum of 10+ years' experience (or advanced degree in related field with a minimum of 6+ years) in executing large, cross functional or global initiatives using a project management framework within business operations

  • Experience within Healthcare and/or pharmaceutical industry

  • Demonstrated leadership in a matrix organization, able to motivate and inspire team members to high performance levels

  • Proven decision-making skills leading to successful outcomes

  • Demonstrated ability to present complex issues to higher level management and contribute to high level presentations and discussions

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective collaborative relationships with team members, management and internal/external partners

  • Strong communication and leadership skills

  • Demonstrated experience influencing without authority

  • Proven track record of success being a high-level independent and team contributor to lead multiple project and processes

  • Experience working with teams / individuals with varied cultural backgrounds & learning styles

  • Demonstrated commitment to achieving results through work efforts and ability to drive to desired goal completion

  • Intermediate to Advanced competency and experience with a variety of computer applications, including Microsoft Suite, MS Project, SharePoint

  • Willingness to travel (approximately 10-20%)


  • Advanced degree, with experience in healthcare and/or pharmaceutical industry and management consulting

  • Demonstrated understanding or experience in commercial strategic and/or business planning and governance

  • Experience managing both internal and external resources (including remotely)

  • Past experience in cross-continent organization (e.g., Americas, Europe and Japan)

  • PMP, Six Sigma or other equivalent project management and/or process improvement advanced certification(s)

  • Specialized training or equivalent experience in product launches or product commercialization

  • Experience with using Clarizen or other similar project management software


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Category Commercial Operations