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Fewer European Pharma Directors Have "Outside Experience"


July 11, 2016

The pharmaceutical industry’s use of directors from outside of the sector has fallen substantially over the last five years, raising concern that some pharmaceutical companies may not have the right blend of skills at board level to overcome the challenges facing the industry, according to global executive search firm DHR International.

Research shows that the proportion of executive directors recruited from outside the industry on the main boards of UK-listed pharma companies has fallen from 40% in 2010 to 26% in 2015. Executive board members with no pharmaceutical or biotech experience in Europe are similarly low, at 23% in 2015.

DHR International says that this shift towards ‘inward’ focused leadership at some pharmaceutical companies may make it harder for companies to overcome challenges facing the industry as they find it harder to adapt best practice from other sectors.

“By not bringing in as much external talent as they used to do pharmaceutical companies inadvertently risk becoming more resistant to change,” said Alin Popescu, Partner at DHR International and member of the European Life Sciences Practice.

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