Frenchman Christophe Weber formally named CEO of Takeda, Japan's top and oldest drug company

Christophe Weber

Takeda Pharmaceutical officially announced on March 4 that President and Chief Operating Officer Christophe Weber would become chief executive officer staring April 1, replacing Yasuchika Hasegawa and pushing through a process started last year that drew some initial opposition over a non-Japanese executive running the storied firm.

In June last year, French native Weber won shareholder approval to join as chief operating officer at Takeda over the opposition of some family members at Japan's top--and oldest--drug company. He said afterward that the company needs to focus its efforts on developing just a few drugs and its researchers focusing on quality rather than quantity.

Hasegawa will remain chairman of the board, while the position of COO will no longer exist, the Japanese drugmaker said in a statement. On Feb. 25, at an event in Singapore, Weber was congratulated on the new role, but the official announcement came on Wednesday.

"Since he became COO of the company last April, I have been supporting Christophe and at the same time carefully observing his performance as a CEO successor. I have concluded that he is ready to assume Takeda's CEO role," Hasegawa said in the statement.

- read the release (PDF)