Piloting any biopharma company through successive phases of growth and evolution can require changes in the CEO's office as new challenges dictate the need for different kinds of experience and skillsets. Likewise, as the industry navigates a future that will be characterized by unprecedented commercial uncertainty, rapid globalization and shrinking margins, continued growth will require a new breed of CEO.

According Angus Russell, who is retiring as CEO of Shire plc, the time has come for chief executives who can apply strategic thinking to meeting the needs of increasingly diverse markets, and who understand those markets in a way that is fundamentally different from the commercial CEOs of the past.