Senior Director, Launch Excellence Strategy & Project Management ( Hybrid)

Avanir Pharmaceuticals

Avanir Pharmaceuticals

Administration, Sales & Business Development
North America
Posted on Friday, August 4, 2023

Job Description

About Otsuka

We defy limitation, so that others can too. In going above and beyond—under any circumstances—for patients, families, providers, and for each other. It’s this deep-rooted dedication that drives us to uncover answers to complex, underserved medical needs, so that patients can push past the limitations of their disease and achieve more than they thought was possible each and every day.

About the Role

The Sr. Director of Launch Excellence Strategy & Project Management will have the dual responsibility of embedding the new Launch Excellence Strategy as an Otsuka core capability and leading the project management team supporting in-line and new-to-market brands. This individual will leverage learnings and industry-leading practices across therapeutic areas to guide future Otsuka launch excellence actions partnering with global marketing, medical, and other cross-functional teams to build a cohesive “One Otsuka” approach for all product launches. Serves as a thought partner to key stakeholders to accelerate and improve the quality of launch planning and align to brand and customer planning.

This individual will lead a team of project management professionals responsible for partnering with the in-line brand teams to enable and support strategic planning and tactical execution. Additionally, this role is responsible for leading the annual Integrated Strategic Planning process. As a team leader, this individual will be responsible for elevating brand project management capabilities, introducing and standardizing project management tools, and identifying solutions to increase the impact and value contribution of the project management role at Otsuka.

Job Expectations/Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for implementing the new Otsuka Launch Excellence framework into the organization for all future product launches.
  • Identifying key learnings and staying apprised of new and innovative approaches to constantly evolve Otsuka’s Launch Excellence framework/ customer/ market needs.
  • Instructs teams on standard launch methods (process, platforms, tools, and measurements) to ensure uniform implementation (launch excellence knowledge sharing) for the organization while drawing on industry best practices. "Connects the dots" between launches to maximize synergies from launch to launch and ensures the lessons learned from launch experience are leveraged for future launches.
  • Resolves issues with agility while maintaining focus on key deliverables and timelines. Resolves deviations from the plan in a timely and effective manner. Responsible for ensuring that all cross-functional teams and critical functions are contributing at a high level.
  • Provides targeted project support to the various functional teams to ensure they meet their planning commitments for the launch. Ensure cross-functional collaboration in planning the launch meeting details, participating and supporting integrated project plans with Marketing, and Identifying critical path items with corrective action. Managing the interdependencies during the launch window of new brands and/or new indications.
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders and cross-functional partners on the development of strategy and tactical planning as part of the annual Strategic Annual Planning Process. Evolve the Integrated Strategic Planning processes to fully integrate the therapeutic level and cross-brand into the process.
  • Contribute to the success of the department by successfully driving performance across multiple teams. Manage (recruit, hire, coach, develop, motivate, manage, and monitor) the performance of a staff of project management professionals. This includes setting job expectations, establishing key priorities, providing regular feedback, identifying performance challenges, creating action plans and monitoring the effectiveness of those action plans. Meet GROW timelines and coach to ASPIRE competencies.
  • Develop project management KPIs to measure effectiveness, support levels, and resource allocation of the project managers.
  • Develop and maintain a network of contacts at the national and industry level to stay apprised of emerging capabilities, new industry trends, etc.

Qualifications/ Required

Knowledge/ Experience and Skills:

  • BS/BA in Business Administration, Business Management, or Operational Excellence, or Marketing. Master’s Degree Preferred
  • Minimum 10 years of Commercial Pharmaceutical industry experience in project management directly supporting in-line and launch brands.
  • Product launch experience (marketing and project management)
  • Excellent communication, collaboration, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to influence and negotiate with key internal stakeholders and various departments is critical for success.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to work with high levels of ambiguity are a must
  • Solid individual and team management experience with experience managing cross-functional teams.
  • Excellent Project Management (PM) and Program Management Office (PMO) skills are required. PMP or Six Sigma Certification preferred.
  • High proficiency with Microsoft Office tools Access (or equivalent),, Power Point, Excel, Word and MS Project.
  • Experience with business process optimization and continuous process improvement methodologies and tools.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage multiple complex projects in a cross-functional environment
  • Experience working with ambiguity and agility in a fast-paced environment
  • Track record of excellent collaboration skills required to work with internal stakeholders at all level of the Organization and coordinate activities across multiple projects, initiatives and key suppliers
  • Education/Experience
  • B.A. or B.Sc. degree required.
  • Master’s degree preferred
  • Launch experience as a brand lead or project manager (both preferred)
  • Knowledge of pharmaceutical legal, regulatory, and medical processes required.
  • Proven leadership, strategic, and analytical abilities.


Accountability for Results - Stay focused on key strategic objectives, be accountable for high standards of performance, and take an active role in leading change.
Strategic Thinking & Problem Solving - Make decisions considering the long-term impact to customers, patients, employees, and the business.
Patient & Customer Centricity - Maintain an ongoing focus on the needs of our customers and/or key stakeholders.
Impactful Communication - Communicate with logic, clarity, and respect. Influence at all levels to achieve the best results for Otsuka.
Respectful Collaboration - Seek and value others’ perspectives and strive for diverse partnerships to enhance work toward common goals.
Empowered Development - Play an active role in professional development as a business imperative.

Come discover more about Otsuka and our benefit offerings;


This job description is intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned to this position. It is not intended to include every job duty and responsibility specific to the position. Otsuka reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

Otsuka is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will be given consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, national origin, veteran status, marital status, or any other legally protected characteristic.

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