Editor’s note: This story is part of our 2022 PharmaVoice 100 feature.
Renata Campos is one of the youngest business unit leaders at Takeda and the first woman president of Takeda’s Growth and Emerging Markets Unit (GEM BU) — one of the company’s most complex and diverse businesses. With regions and teams spanning the globe, Campos’ work stands to impact a “combined population of more than 5 billion, or around 65% of the world's population, and a key driver for Takeda’s global growth,” her nominator says.
Campos has a long track record of overseeing global regions — including sometimes difficult markets.
“[Campos] led a number of strategic business transformations in countries characterized by macroeconomic and socioeconomic volatilities — Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Turkey and Venezuela,” a nominator says. “Taking over the reins for the emerging markets region during the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is a testament to her strong leadership and proven track record in managing crises, always putting patients and people at the forefront, while ensuring sustainable business growth.”
Before being named president of GEM BU in April, which specializes in leading-edge therapeutics for six distinct therapeutic areas — plasma-derived treatments, rare diseases, oncology, neuroscience, gastroenterology and vaccines — Campos served as president of Takeda Brazil and completed the 2019 integration of the local Shire business in “five short months.”
“She then drove the divestment of the company’s non-core over-the-counter portfolio to Brazil’s largest pharmaceutical company. Within two years, these business transformations helped pivot Takeda Brazil from a primary-care driven business — nearly 60% of revenue — to a specialty care and rare disease focused biopharmaceutical leader, while consistently delivering solid business growth,” one of her colleagues says. During this time, Campos also accelerated local launches of Takeda’s 14 innovative global brands and provided wider patient access to Takeda’s innovative portfolio, all of which have positioned Takeda Brazil as a “top 10 pharmaceutical company, and the third fastest-growing R&D focused company in the country.”
Even with Takeda Brazil´s rapid growth, Campos has made sure to “leave no patient behind” — a motto that’s remained a foundational aspect of her business approach and has driven her work to improve access to life-transforming medicines.
“Takeda Brazil has deployed key initiatives that support disease education and awareness efforts, especially regarding rare genetic diseases — an area where diagnosis is still challenging, and patients face a long journey before getting an accurate diagnosis or starting on the most appropriate treatments,” a nominator says. “Takeda Brazil’s flagship Blueprint for Success initiative convenes key healthcare stakeholders in the country, with the aim to better understand the barriers to access and work with partners to devise solutions that drive positive impact on the lives of patients.”
At Takeda Brazil, Campos also implemented a significant diversity initiative. In addition to its seven DE&I Takeda Resource Groups across a range of topics — gender, LGBTQI+, ethnic-racial, people with disabilities, generations, religions and spiritualities, and Takeda relatives and caregivers — Campos also focused on raising awareness and investing in DE&I literacy at all levels of the organization.
“Do what you love and work with people better than you. For me, the most rewarding accomplishment as a leader is to see that my legacy will go on even after I’ve gone.”
President, Growth and Emerging Markets Business Unit, Takeda Pharmaceutical
As a result, “employees are very active in helping shape company policies to promote diversity and ensure their voices are heard,” her nominator says. “It also meant a review of all HR policies to move away from theory and into practice. Since then, several measures have been adopted, such as expanded paternity leave, parental leave for same-sex couples, and better mentoring and career development discussions for women.”
Here, Campos shares her leadership skills, the challenges that keep her up at night and how she is paying her success forward.
PharmaVoice: What new leadership skill did you hone/acquire over the past two years that you will continue to bring forward?
Renata Campos: Definitely inclusive leadership. It’s a very personal commitment — one that demands our ongoing effort and investment to ensure I tap into and embrace the power of my teams´ differences and distinct identities. As leaders, I believe we can best impact our teams by educating ourselves first. That's why I encourage every leader to be open to new ideas, embrace others’ experiences without judgment and think beyond their comfort zones. Through inclusive leadership I´ve had the opportunity to get to know people at different stages of development, and ensure that they´re heard, respected, valued and retained. Today, I see my role as continuing to build bridges and encouraging open dialogue, as well as supporting training and education of our teams, and adopting short-, medium- and long-term targets to measure our progress toward a more inclusion culture.
What keeps you up at night?
As a leader of such a diverse, volatile, vast and evolving region I would say two things: the well-being of our employees and their families and the patients who may face limitations in accessing our life-transforming medicines.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Passionate, open and honest. I’m always looking for ways to transform how we do things to make things better — for our people and our patients. I encourage and empower my teams to step outside of their comfort zones, demonstrate strategic enterprise thinking, and find innovative ways to serve patients. I work to create a culture of accountability that supports the professional and personal growth of our talent.
How are you paying your success forward?
I am strongly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had throughout my 20 years career. I´ve faced many challenges, but have always had the company's support, as well as amazing guidance from my leaders, which has made me feel heard and respected for my career choices. Because of this, I have a strong commitment to encourage every employee who dreams of growing their career and holding a leadership position. My aspiration is to give back all I've received by offering the same support I had and by creating a culture where collaboration is recognized and rewarded so that employees who wish to climb the ladder are incentivized to lift up others, too. For instance, I am currently supporting different mentoring initiatives, including female mentoring inside and outside Takeda as well “reverse mentoring”, supporting young professionals to accomplish their career goals.
What is the single most important trend that is impacting your business?
Access to both innovative medicines and quality health care are crucial and a significant issue for patients worldwide, especially in countries with evolving health systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the need to strengthen health care systems through greater collaboration, coordination and leadership. That's why we need to build partnerships that turn good intentions into outcomes by strengthening health care systems and establishing shared responsibility to drive long lasting and sustainable improvements.
There are countless obstacles facing patients in emerging markets, but this cannot prevent everyone involved from coming together to initiate change. In the markets I´m responsible for, I believe we have a wonderful opportunity to improve healthcare systems — not only by supplying our life-transforming medicines to all patients who need them, but also by helping to shape the markets and doing more to support the patient’s journey — from prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment. My aim is to be able to contribute to improving the entire healthcare ecosystem. I believe social commitment and humanitarian issues are inseparable from the technical and scientific purposes of the pharmaceutical industry.