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Interview with Outside Director

Creating New Value by Pursuing a Corporate Philosophy Focusing on the Perspective of Patients

Outside Director
(Chair of the Board of Directors, Member of the Independent Committee of Outside Directors)
Toru Yamashita

1. You have been an independent outside director at Eisai for two years now. What are your views on Eisai?


While there are many companies expanding globally, Eisai is unique in that it conducts integrated and transparent business at the same level of management both inside and outside of Japan. For example, at the Board of Directors meetings, Corporate Officers report on the execution of business on a quarterly basis, and information from the field in each region worldwide is reported and discussed.
Furthermore, as shown by its leadership in corporate governance, Eisai's DNA is to bring unique ideas to make things happen. This is demonstrated in Eisai's initiatives in the field of dementia. In order to achieve the new medium term business plan EWAY 2025, I believe this DNA is critically important to establishing the company's unique “Ricchi” (areas where no one has achieved success, untapped spaces or opportunities where Eisai can be a frontrunner in order to fulfill specific needs) through revolutionary innovation.
In addition, as someone who is involved in a different industry, I am envious that Eisai is able to directly understand the contribution that its products make to patients. It may be because their work feels like it has meaning and is worth doing, but my impression is that all employees have a strong sense of duty toward work, and perform their duties with vigor.

2. Through the activities of the Board of Directors, what is your impression of corporate governance at Eisai?


Firstly, the key characteristics of Eisai's corporate governance are that it was ahead of many companies in having over half of directors as outside directors, and establishing a system for an independent and neutral Board of Directors.
Also, among the Board of Directors and Corporate Officers, I feel that the separation of the functions of supervision of management and the execution of business as well as the cooperation between them are working smoothly. While there is a tendency in general for this to be merely a formality and does not work well in practice, I think at Eisai we have a good balance between rapid business decision making (including for overseas) and reasonable restraint. Of course, there is always room for improvement.

3. From an independent outside director's perspective, could you tell us what is required for Eisai to further enhance its corporate value and hence, augment stakeholders' benefits?


I would like employees to always keep in mind Eisai's corporate philosophy to “give first thought to patients and their families, and to increasing the benefits health care provides.” As the times change, I think it is important to strengthen our commitment to this philosophy. By taking the patients' perspective and seeking what they truly need, it inevitably becomes clear what Eisai should do next. As declared in EWAY 2025, it is apparent that Eisai's new initiatives including solutions for Regional Care/Home Care will bring about new value not just for patients and their families, but also all shareholders and employees, and most of all for society which has entered an age of decreasing birthrate and aging population.
The most important issue right now is successfully developing new drugs for dementia and cancer, which the world is desperately waiting for. While the whole company is already engaged in this endeavor, I believe that in order to develop even more effective medicines, it is necessary to not to look to past methods of development but actively adopt advances in the use of new IT techniques and open innovation more than ever.

Finally, I hope to utilize the experience I have built up over many years to work together with all employees toward the achievement of EWAY 2025.

[Personal history]

Apr. 1971 Joined Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Public Corporation (known as NTT)
Jun. 1999 Director, NTT DATA Corporation
Jun. 2003 Managing Director, NTT DATA Corporation
Jun. 2005 Senior Executive Vice President and Representative Director, NTT DATA Corporation
Jun. 2007 Representive Director, President and Chief Executive Officer, NTT DATA Corporation
Jun. 2012 Director and Advisor, NTT DATA Corporation
Apr. 2013 (Cabinet office) Chair of Public Interest Commission (current)
Jun. 2013 Outside Director, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. (current)
Jun. 2014 Advisor, NTT DATA Corporation (current)
Jun. 2014 Director of the Company (current), Member of the Independent
Committee of Outside Directors (current), Member of the Nomination
Committee and Member of the Compensation Committee
Jun. 2015 Chair of the Nomination Committee of Eisai Co., Ltd.
Jul. 2015 Outside Director, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company (current)
Jun. 2016 Chair of the Board of Directors of Eisai Co., Ltd. (current)

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