European News

Change in Leadership at Daiichi Sankyo Europe

Masahiro Kato takes over as Managing Director, Oliver Appelhans appointed to Head of the European Specialty Business Unit

• Masahiro Kato appointed as Managing Director of Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH from 1st November 2023

• Masahiro succeeds Dr. Jan Van Ruymbeke who will retire on 31st of March 2024; both will co-lead as Managing Directors

• Oliver Appelhans takes over from Dr. Jan Van Ruymbeke as Head of the European Specialty Business Unit as of 1st October 2023

Munich, Germany – (6th November 2023) – Today, Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH, the European headquarter organisation of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., announced the appointment of its new Managing Director Masahiro Kato and new Head of the European Speciality Business Unit, Oliver Appelhans.

Masahiro succeeds Dr. Jan Van Ruymbeke, who successfully led the European organisation over the last 11 years and who will retire by end of March 2024. During his tenure the European organisation’s revenues and profit tripled. Masahiro Kato returns to Europe from Japan, having spent several years already in the European headquarter organisation from 2003 to 2010. His 35 years at Daiichi Sankyo spans roles in Finance, Accounting and most recently Sustainability Promotion, an increasingly important area for Daiichi Sankyo.

One of Masahiro’s main priorities will be facilitating and driving Europe’s role in globalisation initiatives of Daiichi Sankyo while further supporting the organisation’s sustainable growth across therapeutic areas. He will also be a strong advocate for the patients Daiichi Sankyo Europe seeks to impact, in the spirit of Daiichi Sankyo’s purpose which is to contribute to the enrichment of quality of life around the world. Masahiro Kato adds: “I am looking forward to reconnecting with the European organisation again. Besides the strong business performance of Daiichi Sankyo Europe, I am also very impressed with the organisation’s focus on sustainability initiatives, a topic that is close to my heart. Projects to reduce our carbon footprint with solar power installed at our Pfaffenhofen plant, as well as wind energy, are just two examples.”

Oliver Appelhans appointed to Head of the European Specialty Business Unit

As of 1st October 2023, Oliver Appelhans has taken over as Head of the European Specialty Business Unit from Dr. Jan Van Ruymbeke. Daiichi Sankyo Europe’s Specialty portfolio focuses on cardiovascular care and generated revenues of more than 1bn EUR in the last fiscal year.

Oliver Appelhans joined Daiichi Sankyo in 2007 after a successful career in Sales at AstraZeneca. At Daiichi Sankyo, he has had numerous roles at both the German and European organisations, which included Head of Performance Management, Manager Country Operations, European Launch Lead, Managing Director of the German organisation and most recently he was Head of Commercial Operations Europe and Partner Management. In this role, he and his team were instrumental in implementing a new operating model for the European Specialty Business Unit. By putting customer experience front and centre, they laid the groundwork for the continued success of Daiichi Sankyo’s cardiovascular portfolio in Europe.

“I am looking forward to continuing to drive the European Specialty Unit’s ability to support the medical community within cardiovascular disease. Together with my team, we will keep optimising our interactions with healthcare providers, truly understanding their needs, and responding to them in meaningful ways to become an even better partner to them”, says Oliver Appelhans.

About Daiichi Sankyo
Daiichi Sankyo is an innovative global healthcare company contributing to the sustainable development of society that discovers, develops, and delivers new standards of care to enrich the quality of life around the world. With more than 120 years of experience, Daiichi Sankyo leverages its world-class science and technology to create new modalities and innovative medicines for people with cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases with high unmet medical need. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Corporate Communications Europe
Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH

Nadine Paschen
Tel. +49 89 7808 590

Julia Thienel
Tel. +49 89 7808 140

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