Novo Nordisk Pharmatech´ s new CEO has a head start

Ulla Grove Krogsgaard Thomsen, the new CEO at Novo Nordisk Pharmatech A/S, comes with a strong background in Research & Development and Product Supply within Novo Nordisk A/S. Over the last two years, she has been a board member at Novo Nordisk Pharmatech, which has now appointed her as their new CEO. She brings plenty of ambitions for succeeding with the company’s strategy.

Ulla Grove Krogsgaard Thomsen takes over as CEO of Novo Nordisk Pharmatech by 1st of April 2021. With her background of almost 24 years in Novo Nordisk in various positions and life-long experience within protein-based medicines as her life-long expertise, it is not only a natural step up for her, but also a dream come true. The new CEO brings a solid global business understanding and strong strategic competences to the table.

Already for a while, Ulla Grove Krogsgaard Thomsen has been referring to Novo Nordisk Pharmatech as “we” and she is very enthusiastic about her official start as CEO. “I am very passionate and ambitious about realising Novo Nordisk Pharmatech’s new long-term mission of enabling better medicines. I was much involved in scoping the strategy myself during my two-years’ membership of the board. This gives me an excellent position for executing it together with the Management Board.”

Novo Nordisk Pharmatech’s new CEO has spent half of her Novo Nordisk career in Research, six years as CVP for Protein Engineering in the Biopharm Research Unit and half of her career in Product Supply as CVP of API production. She thus has a strong technology foundation within protein technologies, analytical sciences and cGMP API production.

The opportunity of changing her daily route to Køge unites a huge interest for scouting new opportunities and focusing on both research, production, quality and sales & marketing and being responsible for the entire value chain on site.

Top priorities

“I truly commit to enabling better medicines by providing sustainable pharmaceutical materials through innovative and customised solutions. The keywords match my ambitions, professional forces and natural focus. I am very eager to start executing!”

Due to Ulla Grove Krogsgaard Thomsen’ board membership she is already familiar with the products, values and goals of the company. “My top priorities the coming months will be to continue to deliver high quality products to both Novo Nordisk and the leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies worldwide and sustain the global sales growth. We are also finalising our new multipurpose production line aimed at delivering new specialised enzymes serving the biopharmaceutical and regenerative medicine market. However, most importantly, I look forward to getting to know my new colleagues at Novo Nordisk Pharmatech.”

Her new colleagues on the other hand will get to know their new CEO as a creative and very engaged leader who will work closely together with them in executing on the strategy. “By nature I am a very curious person and I am eager to get to know the business in depth.”

Trust and transparency

“My key leadership values are trust, transparency and respect. It is important for me that people around me feel empowered in the setting. Surely, I put up ambitious corner stones and make sure that everybody works according to the strategy. However, they should know that I have faith in their dispositions.”

The value chain at Novo Nordisk Pharmatech differs from the rest of Novo Nordisk by a number of factors. First of all, the company enables medicines by delivering Quats and Recombinant Insulin to the global pharma and biopharma industry. They have been producing Quats for more than 70 years, have more than 30 years of GMP experience and around 70% of the sale is to external customers worldwide. Another important difference is the lifecycle of developing a new product. At Novo Nordisk the timeline from idea to market is +10 years, but at Novo Nordisk Pharmatech it’s only a few years.

“The fact that you can reap the benefits of your efforts – both strategy and products – so fast will be something new to me, surely satisfying and very interesting. I am very curious to be involved in such a fast product development cycle and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it.”

However, very much into research and production, Ulla Grove Krogsgaard Thomsen describes herself as a leader who also understands the customer’s side; sales and marketing are on top of her mind.

Likes wild ideas

“I think of Novo Nordisk Pharmatech as a golden company with a lot of enthusiasm. This suits me very well. The vivid spirit of the company makes me think of my favorite Norwegian saying about wild salmons: ‘It’s more fun trying to tame a wild salmon than trying to breathe new life into a dead herring’. In my opinion, it’s good to have the courage to be innovative and a little wild, rather than being limited and restricted.”

Ulla Grove Krogsgaard Thomsen’s predecessor Rasmus Hother le Fevre left Novo Nordisk Pharmatech A/S for a position at Ferrosan Medicals Devices by the beginning of March after eight years as CEO.