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Program Lead, Oncology (M/F)

Posted 08 Feb 2018

Darmstadt, Hesse - Germany

Req Id 172259


A career is an ongoing journey of discovery: our 50,000 people are shaping how the world lives, works and plays through next generation advancements in healthcare, life science and performance materials. For 350 years and across the world we have passionately pursued our curiosity to find novel and vibrant ways of enhancing the lives of others.

The Program Lead has final accountability for the innovation, strategy, operations, and related development deliverables for global program teams (GPTs) within a designated disease/clinical area. The predominant responsibility is to lead one or more multidisciplinary teams of functional experts focused on securing global regulatory approvals, market access, and optimized commercial value of the program(s), ensuring this is achieved with high quality and full compliance with regulatory requirements, while operating within budget and in a competitive and timely manner.

Your Role:

Key responsibilities of the Program Lead, Oncology are to:

  • Establish short- and long-range project vision and strategy for areas of responsibility, including an integrated strategy for programs covering multiple assets and/or indications
  • Ensure alignment across global functions, regions, and country organizations with regard to strategy and direction
  • Drive project operations to achieve superior performance
  • Deliver a consistent, robust, cross-functional development/lifecycle plan for the approved development strategy and obtain implementation plan approval (time, cost, quality agreed) at the Development Operations Committee (DOC)
  • Provide program updates to Senior Management and external partner(s) as required
  • Maintain accountability for all aspects of plan implementation within agreed timelines and budget
  • Drive talent acquisition and development among team members, including as a stakeholder and coach in ongoing performance management, in collaboration with the respective functional managers
  • Proactively manage and seek resolution with the line functions concerning deviations in budget and timelines
  • Ensure appropriate internal/external communication of the project in accordance with corporate policy
  • Assist team members in overcoming any obstacles to delivery of the project outputs
  • Maintain updated knowledge of competitor development activities, business risk factors and status of Intellectual Property rights for the project(s) and leverage this knowledge to develop a compelling, innovative vision and strategy for the program(s)
  • Anticipate internal and external drivers of change to strategy, and respond by making well-reasoned and rapid revisions to program strategies.
  • Ensure rigorous adherence to quality and compliance
  • Proactively shape the external environment to defend and improve the company position relevant to the project(s) by developing strong evidence- and trust-based relationships with key stakeholders (key thought leaders, regulators, scientific societies, patient organizations, health technology assessments, payers)


  • Accountable to secure agreement for the global product development/lifecycle strategy and plan at DOC, aligning all key stakeholders across research, development, technical operations, commercial and external partners
  • For all key decision points, ensure that high-quality, robust analyses concerning options, risks, and available strategic choices are evaluated by the GPT, vetted as appropriate with functional leaders and the Business Franchise, and submitted for approval at DOC
  • Champion the use of scientific/clinical data to underpin decision-making whenever possible.
  • Participate in other decision-making forums related to the project, such as Integrated Clinical Study Committee, Healthcare Executive Committee and Medical Safety & Ethics Board as applicable
  • Between decision points, continuously review and analyze any new information with team and line function experts, foresee their impact on project strategy/chance of success, and recommend to management a change in project strategy/objectives as required
  • Accountable for all project decisions requiring execution and implementation of the strategy.
  • Successfully lead GPT to achieve key program milestones according to agreed-upon timelines and budget


  • Provide team leadership; manage, guide, challenge, and motivate the GPT(s).
  • Ensure ambitious but achievable GPT objective-setting and undertake an unbiased evaluation of team performance against these objectives
  • Ensure GPT operates as a high-performing team
  • Ensure that all involved functions are kept updated and coordinated concerning project progress
  • Be a member of an interdisciplinary team in a licensing or M&A situation as appropriate

    Who You Are:

  • Advanced degree in a relevant scientific discipline; doctoral-level degree (MD or PhD) is desirable
  • MBA beneficial but not required
  • Expertise in drug development and broad working knowledge of pre-clinical, process development, manufacturing, clinical, regulatory and marketing processes.
  • Strong knowledge in the Oncology therapeutic area
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience (10-plus years desired) in global drug development, including several years of experience in managerial positions leading multidisciplinary global program teams, and submission of regulatory dossiers
  • Must have global large-scale project management experience in a functional or cross-functional capacity
  • Firsthand experience within an international pharmaceutical and/or biotech company
  • Sound awareness of pharmaceutical business including regulatory, clinical development, sales & marketing related issues.
  • Demonstrated success in a position which influences and interacts cross-functionally with other departments.
  • Experience leading high-profile product development projects globally
  • Willingness to travel frequently (domestic and globally)


  • Strong strategic thinker
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in the face of uncertainty, or with incomplete or ambiguous data
  • Business savvy executive with mature leadership, decision-making, conflict resolution, and influencing skills.
  • Ability to represent the company and to negotiate at all levels both internally and externally across key geographies in which we operate
  • Strong results orientation
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to interact constructively with all functions in a matrix global organizational environment
  • Excellent global team leader with strong communication and team leadership skills

What we offer: We empower you to fulfil your ambitions, and our diverse businesses offer various career moves to seek new horizons. We trust you with responsibility early on and support you to draw your own career map that is responsive to your aspirations and priorities in life. Join us and bring your curiosity to life!

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