Astellas making leadership changes in Canada and U.S.



Steve Sabus has been named general manager of Astellas Pharma Canada (APCA), effective April 1, 2018. In his new role, he will lead business operations in the country.

Sabus will report to Percival Barretto-Ko, senior VP, International Operations at Astellas and will be based in Markham, Ontario. Michael Tremblay, who has served as president of APCA since June 2010, will retire from Astellas and his 42-year career in the pharma industry.

“I have great confidence in Steve Sabus’ ability to continue the growth of Astellas Canada, an important market in the Americas,” Barretto-Ko says. “Steve’s outstanding leadership and extensive experience in sales and marketing will help ensure that our ongoing commitment to therapies in oncology, urology, immunology and other areas will focus on Canadian patients’ needs.”

Sabus, who joined Astellas in 2007, has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He most recently served as vice president, Primary Care, Specialty, Hospital and Transplant sales at Astellas US, where he led the successful launches of Myrbetriq (mirabegron) and Cresemba (isavuconazonium sulfate), while exceeding revenue and operating income targets.

Prior to Astellas, he had a successful career at Johnson & Johnson, where he held various leadership positions for more than 16 years, including regional sales director. Sabus holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa with a specialty in marketing and sales management.

With Sabus’ departure from his former role at Astellas Pharma US, Astellas announced two senior-level changes in the U.S. Sales and Marketing organization within the company’s Urology and Hospital Business Unit.

Lynn Fenicchia Gerber has been promoted to U.S. VP, Primary Care, Specialty, Hospital and Transplant sales where she will lead sales efforts for the OAB, Anti-fungal, Cardiovascular and Transplant franchises. Kevin O’Keefe has been promoted to U.S. area VP, sales, Primary Care and Specialty – West, where he will be responsible for overseeing sales efforts and developing talent within the sales force.

“Serving patients impacted by fungal infections, organ transplants, heart disease and overactive bladder is a priority for Astellas,” says Walt Johnston, senior VP, Urology and Hospital Business Unit. “Lynn and Kevin bring extensive experience in healthcare leadership, broad knowledge of our industry and Astellas therapies, as well as deep compassion for patients – a combination of qualities that exemplify Astellas’ patient-focused culture.”

Gerber joined Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. – which merged with Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to create Astellas – in 2003 and was previously at GSK. She has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with roles of increasing responsibility in the areas of sales leadership, marketing and operations.

Throughout her career, Gerber has participated in professional and industry organizations focused on leadership. She is a member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and was named an HBA Luminary Award winner in 2015 for her commitment to coaching and development. Gerber graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology from East Carolina University, a master of science degree in exercise physiology from Syracuse University, and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Gerber is based in the Chicago area and will report to Johnston.

O’Keefe has 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with 20 years in sales leadership. Most recently, O’Keefe was the senior area sales director in the Hospital Division leading a team of regional sales managers responsible for the company’s Anti-fungal, Cardiovascular, and Transplant franchises. O’Keefe joined Astellas in 2007 as a regional sales manager.

Before joining Astellas, O’Keefe worked with Bayer and Oscient in roles of increasing responsibility, including sales leadership, development and training. O’Keefe earned his bachelor’s of business administration in finance and computer information systems from Baylor University. He will be based in Houston working with a team of sales directors, reporting to Gerber, along with David Musselman, U.S. area VP, sales, Primary Care and Specialty – East and Greg Radenbaugh, national VP, Hospital sales.