Takeda : A CEO's biography buries the news

Media stories help to humanise the CEO of a Japan-based pharmaceutical company, but they are not linked from his biography on the corporate website.

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The feature

The ‘In the news’ section of the Takeda corporate website has links to a series of media interviews with Christophe Weber, the CEO. Since 2017, the Japan-based publication Asabi Shimbun Globe has done five interviews with Mr Weber, in Q&A format, covering his background, his management style, talent development and the company’s M&A strategy. The first published article, ‘Tragedies changed my life’, delves into Mr Weber’s personal life and how the deaths of his father and brother have shaped his personality and approach to life. ‘My father died in a mountain accident in an avalanche and I was with him when that happened. I was only 15. After that, I started to take more responsibilities in order to support my family, and did less mountain climbing,’ Mr Weber tells the interviewer.

Mr Weber’s biography, in the ‘Executive Leadership’ section of the website takes a conventional, but dull approach – eg, ‘Mr Weber has introduced key transformations within the global organization which focus on the underlying principles of patient- and customer-centricity, accountability and being as agile as possible for a global company.’ The biography does not link to the ‘In the news’ section.

The takeaway

The person that comes across in the media interviews is a thoughtful human being who has overcome challenges in his life. They give real insight into the person currently running one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Whoever is running Takeda’s online ‘Newsroom’ thought it was worth linking to these external stories, but no one thought to link them from Mr Weber’s biography page in the ‘Company Information’ section.

Linking from the biography page would be the minimum. Going further, Takeda – and other corporates – should consider introducing some of the humanising details that emerge in media profiles, and use them to liven up boring, by-the-numbers executive biographies.

First published 30 July, 2019
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