Astellas Announces Change of President and CEO and Management Structure

Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”) today announced that at a meeting of its Board of Directors, held today, approved changes of its Representative Director, President and CEO and its management structure.

1.Change of President and CEO

Reason for Change

Astellas has been working on its Corporate Strategic Plan 2018 and Corporate Strategic Plan 2021 (“CSP2021“) since fiscal year 2018, when Kenji Yasukawa was appointed as President and CEO, to realize its VISION “On the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into VALUE for patients”. During this time, Astellas overcame the patent cliff associated with the expiration of products exclusivity that had supported its growth in the past, and revenue has turned upward trend after bottoming out in fiscal year 2020. In addition, Astellas moved away from its past business model of creating products with a focus on specific disease areas and promoted a shift to the Focus Area approach of determining R&D areas from a multifaceted perspective, and is also making progress in developing new drug candidates that will drive future revenues.

Fiscal year 2023 is the right time to go on the aggressive to further accelerate growth, and Naoki Okamura will take over as new President and CEO. Astellas decided it is best for it to consider and implement strategies for achieving CSP2021, which ends in fiscal year 2025 and long-term growth beyond that under the new leadership. The environment surrounding the company is changing rapidly, such as increasing geopolitical risks and changes in the finances and markets of each country due to the COVID-19 crisis, but the new top management has the ability to flexible in response to such changes.

Changes of Representative Directors

Effective date of change

April 1, 2023

2. Top Management (Effective April 1, 2023)

Claus Zieler will be appointed as CCO. He joined Astellas Group in 2019 as   President, International Markets Commercial with experience in the commercial area at Schering and Bayer. He was appointed as President, Established Markets Commercial in January 2022. Together with Yukio Matsui, the current CCO, he has been implementing several imperative changes with his strong driving force and patient centric mindset.

Adam Pearson will be appointed as CStO. Since joining Astellas Group (former Yamanouchi Group) in 2004 after working at Boston Consulting Group, He has held various positions including Regional Senior Vice President, North Europe, Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. and General Manager, United Kingdom, Astellas Pharma Ltd., and since 2020 has been Division Head of Corporate Strategy, leading the development and promotion of CSP2021.

Yukio Matsui, the current CCO, will retire on March 31, 2023.

3. Change of Corporate Executive (Tantou-Yakuin) (Effective April 1, 2023)

Yukio Matsui, the current Senior Corporate Executive (Senmu Tantou-Yakuin), will retire on March 31, 2023.

About Astellas

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into VALUE for patients. For more information, please visit our website at

  • Curriculum Vitae of new Representative Director, President and CEO
  • Curriculum Vitae of new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)
  • Curriculum Vitae of new Chief Strategy Officer (CStO)


Written by Shantel

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