Astellas Pharmaceutical Jobs

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Astellas Pharma Assistant Director, Operational Excellence in Northbrook, Illinois

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

This position is based in Northbrook, Illinois. Remote work from certain states may be permitted in accordance with Astellas' Responsible Flexibility Guidelines. Candidates interested in remote work are encouraged to apply.

Purpose & Scope:

The position is a key member of Commercial Excellence (Com Ex),part of Commercial Strategy & Operations (CS&O), for Astellas US Commercial (US-C). This role drives the execution of strategic initiatives for US-C through the Astellas Project Management Methodology framework with cross-functional/regional teams. The person in this position will lead in collaboration with the commercial teams to accelerate strategies, capabilities, and infrastructure to optimize product launch, life cycle management and ongoing commercialization capabilities across the organization until the end of the product's lifecycle.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Lead project execution and provide thought leadership for enterprise-wide corporate strategic initiatives or select non-enterprise initiatives that drive growth for US-C (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) supporting brand leads and cross-functional teams. Project execution as noted within this job description includes but is not limited to developing business cases, project charters 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.

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

  • Product launches larger in scope and more complex such as 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.

  • Evaluation and execution of selected planned loss of exclusivity options lower in scope and magnitude such as sunsetting a product or providing coordination support on a more complex option (e.g. authorized generic) being led by another member of the Com Ex team.

  • Strategic Initiatives with other partners outside of the brand marketing teams (e.g. health systems, sales, sales operations, etc.) that support the execution of the US-C divisional objectives.

  • Act as and oversee others to be change agents to ensure continued project delivery success, including working with business partners to ensure crucial document management and communications related to business activities; collaborate with and guide cross-functional business partners to ensure successful project implementation through the deployment of PM tools, processes, and personnel.

  • Lead cross-functionally the execution of a portfolio of projects supporting one or more priority brands delivering value to Astellas. Overall project delivery achieved directly or in-directly through others (e.g., internal/external resources). This could include coordinating and leading global and regional initiatives or contributing as part of global initiative teams.

  • Provide strategic thought leadership in collaboration with brand leaders in the development of one or more facets of the annual brand plan including managing the deliverables such as coordinating situational analysis, strategic planning, tactical planning and critical metric identification and tracking. Support the development of appropriate key productivity indicators for initiatives and report metrics and actively provide mitigation plans and/or course correction plans throughout year to ensure optimal brand plan value for what is within Astellas' control is achieved. Collaborate with global launch team and US business lead in development of initial pre-launch strategies and planning for new products and/or indications in existing therapeutic areas.

  • Actively participate and provide strategic leadership as a subject matter expert in global launch excellence and/or other related global committees providing guidance on facets of the product lifecycle for priority brands for US-C.

  • Update and continuously improve best practices and associated guidebooks (including US-C Launch Excellence Lessons Learned Library) on a key facet of the product life-cycle such as launch, brand planning, or loss of exclusivity as part of lessons learned capture to bring knowledge and visibility to the organization expanding US-C capabilities.

  • Be responsible for and provide constructive feedback to Director, Operational Excellence on any external resources contracted through WeDELIVER or other external firms supporting execution of brand / above the brand initiatives.

  • 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.

  • Proactively identify and manage risks / mitigation plans, and work to lead logistics and activities while ensuring essential document management and communication.

  • Manage effectively relationships and collaborate with other regions globally to drive cross-regional initiatives, share information regarding initiative, approach, and best practices driving the One Astellas Way.

Quantitative Dimensions:

This position drives the successful execution of global and large regional strategic initiatives as outlined in this document 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 and tracking for the respective critical initiative/s managed by this position directly 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 will report to the Director, Commercial Excellence. This role may have external resources reporting indirectly depending upon needs of initiatives being executed.

Specific Physical or Environmental Requirements:

Ability to travel up to 75% of the time with overnight travel



  • Bachelor's Degree with a minimum of 7+ years' experience (or advanced degree in related field with a minimum of 5+ years) in executing large, cross functional or global initiatives using a project management framework within business operations

  • Experience within Healthcare and/or pharmaceutical industry

  • Excellent organizational, planning and project management skills with a strong attention to detail and ability to effectively manage multiple cross-functional projects simultaneously.

  • Demonstrated leadership in a matrix organization, able to empower 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

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

  • Ability to be a consistent high-level contributor or leader of multiple projects, processes, or functions

  • Ability to lead and support cross-functional teams to deliver against common goals

  • Strong communication, conflict resolution, and leadership skills

  • Demonstrated experience influencing without authority

  • Consistent 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

  • Intermediate to advanced competency and experience with a variety of computer applications, including Microsoft Suite, MS Project, SharePoint and/or other related project management tools

  • 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 handling 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 such project management software


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans


Category Commercial Operations

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans