Susan Kilsby as been named as successor to Matthew Emmens as chairman of the UK based Shire Plc. US born Miss Kilsby, who’s been with Shire since 2011, now becomes the second female chairman of a FTSE 100 company.
Under Mr Emmen’s leadership, Shire went through a period of rapid expansion which saw key acquisitions such as rare disease specialist ViroPharma for $4.2 billion, as well as a share increase from £3 to £30.
But the road in front of Miss Kilsby looks to be rather different. Shire’s chief executive, Flemming Ornskovm, recently announced that, after selling off the skin repair developer Dermagraft at a loss of $650 million, that Shire would be looking to strength its pipeline through focusing on their key areas of neuroscience and rare diseases.
So what can we expect from Miss Kilsby in the coming years? Well, having spent thirty-three years at Credit Suisse, most of which was spent as European head of mergers and acquisitions, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Shire stepping up it’s level of investment in the orphan drugs industry. If Shire are to break their reliance on their attention deficit disorder (ADD) treatment Vyvanse, the company will need to strengthen their pipeline significantly.
Susan Kilsby has been with Shire since 2011. She graduated from Yale School of Management in 1984, and is currently acting as a non-executive director for Coca-Cola HBC, BBA Aviation Plc and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.