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Head of Operational Excellence

Zurich, Switzerland


Every day, employees working in Takeda’s Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain, and Global Quality business unit are shaping the future of healthcare. They are breaking down barriers and ensuring our life-changing medicines are available, accessible, and affordable to patients. Life-changing for you. Life-changing for patients.

Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain, and Global Quality is the backbone of Takeda, and our employees are the guardians for our patients, our products, and our reputation. As a member of our team, we can offer you the opportunity to grow in a meaningful career, develop your skills, and come to work every day knowing that what you do makes a genuine difference.

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What makes a successful member of our team? Check out the traits we’re looking for and see if you have the right mix.

  • Agile
  • Ambitious
  • Analytical
  • Collaborative
  • Enthusiastic
  • Entrepreneurial

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  • Bold initiatives, continuous improvement, and creativity are at the heart of how we bring scientific breakthroughs from the lab to patients.

  • Here, you will feel welcomed, respected, and valued as a vital contributor our global team.

  • Through trust and respect, you will have genuine support from leaders, managers, and colleagues to do your best work.

  • A strong, borderless team, we strive together towards our priorities and inspiring mission.

  • Recognized for our culture and way of working, we’re one of only 13 companies to receive Top Global Employer® status for 2020.

  • Our people-first mission extends beyond patients to include their families, communities, and our own Takeda family.

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Head of Operational Excellence

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Job ID R0020332 Date posted 06/19/2020 Location Zurich, Switzerland

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Job Description

Are you looking for a patient-focused, innovation-driven company that will inspire you and empower you to shine? Join us as our Head of Operational Excellence, based in our Zurich office.

Here, you will be a vital contributor to our inspiring, bold mission.


  • Develops and drives strategy-aligned Operational Excellence initiatives at global, network, and site level. Provides regular Continuous Improvement Support to Technical Operations in the areas of Lean / Six Sigma coaching and training, LDI, DDFP, Capacity and Throughput improvement, Maturity Assessments, problem solving and site/network efficiency. Identifies and executes on global harmonization efforts.
  • Heads the Performance Management group to define, communicate, and track progress toward operational key performance indicator targets and align financial impacts (e.g., synergies). Performance Management function will define key performance indicators across Ops functions and integrate currently disparate dashboards into single view for Ops Leadership decision-making. Maintains close link to financial implications of operations targets to provide holistic view of operations performance deviations. Ensures close alignment with IT & Data Quality Management (DQM) function to improve data harmonization across systems to ensure data accuracy for decision-making.


Technical/Functional (Line) Expertise

  • Must have broad and deep experience in Lean and Six Sigma standards practices and techniques. Hands on experience in aspects of pharma and biopharmaceuicals operations required. Deep change management and enterprise level change programs is critical.


  • Takeda expects all employees to embody the following:

Values and Priorities

  • Provides leadership, integrity, team orientation, flexibility, and innovation experience in projects that require collaborative approaches, strong analytical skills and has a solid understanding of business issues and processes
  • Strategic Thinking: Develops and implement strategies, policies and tactics. Coordinates multiple and changing priorities rapidly and effectively with a continued focus on achieving outcomes.
  • Communication: Manages within a matrixed organization and effectively influences and participates in teams at all levels of management. Communicates and prepares reports and presentations for senior levels of leadership, including management reviews.

Decision-making and Autonomy

  • Role is required to make decisions which impact the direction of the Continuous Improvement efforts which affect the breadth of GMS. Empowered to design OE organization, role, hire and fire talent.
  • Role requires influencing, negotiation, problem solving and decision making. Role required to translate multiple demands, trouble shoot quickly and effectively, and develop comprehensive strategies,  plans  and training that will satisfy business needs and meet, and multi-functional and regulatory  and compliance demands.


  • Interactions are mainly with Tech Ops (OpUs/Region Leads, Opus Business Ops, PDTS, Supply Chain, Quality, Engineering). Role has adhoc interactions with functions outside of Tech Ops. Org levels from TET to shop floor.


  • Role is critical to staying current on industry standards and advances in OE approaches.
  • Complexity(Products managed, mix of businesses, internal and/or external business environment, cultural considerations)
  • Business Acumen: Utilizes in-depth understanding of Biopharmaceutical business to accurately develop and drive strategy-aligned Operational Excellence initiatives
  • Role must operate across global organization covering technologies from API, biologics, plasma, aseptic filling, tableting, packaging, novel technologies etc.


Essential: B.S. in engineering or biological sciences/pharmacy along with an MBA or relevant business experience. Minimum of 12 years’ experience in Pharmaceutical, Biopharmaceutical, or associated industry required with prior experience and appropriate certification in LEAN/Six Sigma practices. Demonstrated application of advanced planning skills critical. Previous experience in directly managing cross functional leadership teams at a plant  with direct and regular interaction across the Tech Ops functions: Process Development, Quality,  Engineering,  Operations Supply Chain, etc.

Desired: Advanced degree and technical knowledge.


At Takeda, we are transforming the pharmaceutical industry through our R&D- driven market leadership and being a values-led company. To do this, we empower our people to realize their potential through life-changing work. Certified as a Global Top Employer, we offer stimulating careers, encourage innovation, and strive for excellence in everything we do. We foster an inclusive, collaborative workplace, in which our global teams are united by an unwavering commitment to deliver Better Health and a Brighter Future to people around the world.

Empowering Our People to Shine

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Zurich, Switzerland

Worker Type


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Time Type

Full time

Job ID R0020332

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