Executive Committee

Andrew Bird

Interim Chief Executive Officer

MBA, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield

PhD in Organic Chemistry, University of York, York

BSc (Hons) Chemistry, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Professional background

  • 2017-18

    General Manager Gulf, Eastern Mediterranean & Maghreb Region, Dubai

  • 2011-17

    Strategy & Operations Director Middle East, Africa & India

  • 2016-17

    General Manager Maghreb Region at Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • 2013-14

    General Manager South Africa at Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • 2011-11

    Business Director at Pase II Gulf, Dubai

  • 2009-10

    Regional Marketing Director Africa & Middle East (AfME)

  • 2008-09

    Senior European brand Manager at Pfizer

  • 1999-07

    Sales & Marketing roles at Janssen-Cilag Ltd. Uk & Ireland

  • 1997-98

    Medicinal Chemist at Cerebrus Ltd.

  • 1996-97

    Research Chemist at Glaxowellcome

  • 1995-96

    Production Manager at Croda International

Max Sorokin

Chief Financial Officer

MBA, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)

BA, Economics, Business, German, Wabash College

Professional background

  • 2019-23

    Head of Group Commercial Finance at Acino in Zurich, Switzerland

  • 2018-19

    ESSA Beverages Supply Chain Finance Lead at PepsiCo in Barcelona, Spain

  • 2013-18

    Senior Manager Finance at PepsiCo in Geneva, Switzerland

  • 2010-12

    Associate Director, Licensing & Business Development at Merck Serono in Geneva, Switzerland

  • 2009-10

    Consultant/Talent Partner, Life Science Practice at a-connect in Zurich, Switzerland

  • 2002-09

    Various roles in Finance at Eli Lilly & Co in Indianapolis, USA

Richard Letzelter

Chief Human Resources Officer​

MSc Business Marketing, Ecole Supérieure des Technologies et des Affaires – ESTA

Professional background

  • 2020-23

    Directeur des Resources Humaines France - P&O Head at Novartis, Paris

  • 2019-20

    HR Head Region Europe a.i. at Novartis, Basel

  • 2016-19

    Head of Talent management and OD - Region Europe at Novartis, Basel

  • 2012-16

    Head of Talent management and OD - Middle East and North Africa cluster at Novartis, Dubai

  • 2007-12

    Head of Capability and Organisation Development - Egypt at Vodafone

  • 2005-07

    Human Resources Manager global teams - Japan at Vodafone

  • 2003-05

    Human Resources Manager - Global Content Services at Vodafone, London

  • 2000-02

    Head of Human Resources at Vizzavi, Paris

  • 1997-00

    Marketing HR and HR Manger - UK at Altran

Mario Ricard

Chief Operations Officer

Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science – Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada.

Professional background

  • 2015-17

    Vice President – Plasma Manufacturing Europe at Baxalta/Shire, Zurich

  • 2014-15

    Vice President – Operations Strategy at Baxter, Zurich

  • 2012-14

    Vice President – Technical Services and BioSurgery Manufacturing at Baxter, Belgium and Switzerland

  • 2010-12

    Operations Director at Baxter, Belgium

  • 2003-10

    Plant Manager at Baxter, Belgium

  • 1999-03

    Plant Manager at Baxter, Canada

  • 1992-99

    Various roles in Production, Purchasing and Planning at Baxter, Canada

Eugene Zaika

Head of Ukraine and CIS

DBA degree (ongoing), International Management Institute (IMI-Kyiv)

MBA, International Management Institute (IMI-Kyiv)

PhD in cardiology, Research Institute of Therapy (Academy of Medical Science of Ukraine)

MD, Kharkiv Medical Institute, honors

Professional background

  • 2011-15

    Takeda Cluster Head for Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Israel / General Director LLC Takeda Ukraine

  • 2008-11

    General Director, LLC Nycomed Ukraine

  • 2005-08

    Head of Represenative office of Nycomed in Ukraine and Moldova

  • 2005-05

    Marketing Manager, Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine and Moldova

  • 2000-04

    Marketing Manager, Aventis Intercontinental (Ukraine)

  • 1998-00

    East Ukraine Area Manager, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (Ukraine)

  • 1994-97

    Medical representative, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (Ukraine)

  • 1993-97

    Cardiologist, scientific associate in the department of clinical pharmacology, Research Institute of Therapy (Kharkiv)

Christina Peusch

Chief Legal & Integrity and Compliance Officer

German qualified lawyer, University of Passau, Passau, Germany

Professional background

  • 2013-15

    Head of Legal EUCAN (Europe/Canada), Emerging Markets and North Asia, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International GmbH, Zurich

  • 2012-13

    Senior Director Corporate Legal Affairs, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International GmbH, Zurich

  • 2010-12

    Senior Director International Legal Affairs, Nycomed Germany Holding GmbH, Konstanz, Germany

  • 2007-09

    Director International Legal Affairs, Nycomed Germany Holding GmbH, Konstanz, Germany

  • 2004-07

    International Legal Affairs Manager, Altana Pharma AG, Konstanz, Germany

  • 1995-04

    Clifford Chance (prev. Pünder, Volhard, Weber & Axster), member of the Commercial Law and Corporate Finance practice areas and (chief) representative of the Beijing office; Frankfurt am Main and Munich, Germany, and Beijing, PRC.

John Norman

Head of Africa

Bachelor of Commerce Majored in Marketing & Economics

Professional background

  • 2017-18

    General Manager Litha Healthcare, South Africa

  • 2014-17

    Managing Director Africa at Takeda

  • 2007-14

    CEO Takeda South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa & Indian Ocean Islands

  • 1999-08

    Marketing & Sales Director Janssen- Cilag Pharmaceuticals, South Africa

  • 1998-99

    Business Unit Manager Janssen-Cilag Consumer Pharmaceuticals, South Africa

  • 1993-98

    Regional Sales Manager Jannsen-Cilag Pharmaceuticals, South Africa

  • 1991-93

    Product Manager Adcock Ingram Pharmaceuticals, South Africa

  • 1988-91

    Product Manager J&J Medical, South Africa

  • 1987-88

    Professional Sales Representative J&J Medical, South Africa

Global Leadership Team (GLT)

Juliana Reis

Global Head of Corporate Development

Executive International MBA, FIA Business School, São Paulo

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD), USP, São Paulo

Professional background

  • 2020-23

    Global Head, M&A and Business Development at Acino, Zurich

  • 2018-20

    Director, BD&L and POrtfolio Strategy LATAM at Eurofarma, São Paulo

  • 2016-18

    Head of PMO & Strategic Projects at Eurofarma, São Paulo

  • 2014-16

    BD&L Sr Manager, Novel Compounds at Eurofarma, São Paulo

  • 2009-13

    R&D Drug Discovery Program Lead at Aché Laboratórios, São Paulo

Stefano Di Biase

Global Head of Portfolio Strategy and Commercial Excellence​

MSc in International Management, Audencia, Nantes

MSc in International Business, Aston University, Birmingham

Professional background

  • 2019-23

    Global Head of Portfolio Strategy at Acino, Zurich

  • 2012-19

    Associate Principal, Consulting Services - M&A and Strategy at IQVIA, London

  • 2012-12

    FX Analyst at Morgan Stanley, London

  • 2008-09

    Junior Auditor - Industrials and Consumer Markets at KPMG, Milano

Martin Sandgap

Global Head of B2B​

BBA, Lund University, Lund

Professional background

  • 2020-23

    Regional Business Director at Acino, Zurich

  • 2019-20

    Global Head of Transformation at Acino, Zurich

  • 2014-19

    Head of Business Evaluation & Deal Structuring (BEADS) at Acino, Zurich

  • 2014-14

    Short Term Consultant at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Zurich

  • 2013-13

    Director Global Marketing - Commercial Assessment External Opportunities at Takeda, Zurich

  • 2012-13

    Director Global Marketing - Commercial Assessment External Opportunities at Takeda, Chicago

  • 2011-12

    Associate Director - Business Evaluation and Deal Structuring at Takeda, Zurich

  • 2010-11

    Associate Director - Business Evaluation and Deal Structuring at Nycomed, Copenhagen

  • 2008-10

    Senior Manager Business Evaluation, Business development at Nycomed, Copenhagen

  • 2005-08

    International Product Manager at Nycomed, Copenhagen

  • 2001-05

    Nordic Product Manager at Nordic Drugs

Eva Kopecna

Global Head of Regulatory Affairs, Medical Affairs and Pharmacovigilance

MD University of Palacky, CZ

MSc in Regulatory Affairs University of Wales, UK

PhD in Clinical and Social Pharmacy Charles University, CZ

Professional background

  • 2019-20

    Head of Regulatory Affairs, Zentiva, Prague

  • 2012-18

    Senior Director Regulatory Affairs Global OTC, PGT Healthcare, Geneva

  • 2006-12

    Regulatory Affairs Director, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Opava, Czech Republic

  • 2004-06

    Director of Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance - CEE Region, Ivax Pharmaceuticals, Czech Republic

  • 2002-04

    Regulatory Affairs Manager - CEE region & Site RA, Ivax Pharmaceuticals, Czech Republic

  • 2000-02

    Head of Clinical Trials, Head of Clinical Trials, Ivax Pharmaceuticals, Czech Republic

Larisa Bernstein

Global Head of Communications

Larisa holds a degree from the University of Oslo, Norway, where she majored in English and marketing communications.


Professional background

  • 2020-21

    Senior Communications Leader, Global Neuroscience and Rare Diseases DTA, Hoffmann-La Roche, Switzerland

  • 2018-20

    Communications Leader, Global Medical Affairs, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Switzerland

  • 2010-18

    Marketing and Communications Manager, Landis+Gyr, Switzerland

  • 2006-09

    Senior Corporate Communications Manager, Nycomed (now Takeda Pharmaceuticals), Denmark & Switzerland

  • 2000-06

    PR and Communications Manager, Nycomed Russia/CIS (now Takeda Pharmaceuticals), Russia

Samir El Nasharty

Global Head of Supply Chain

BSc of Management Sciences, Sadat Academy for Management Sciences, MBA, CPIM /APICS

Professional background

  • 2022-23

    Regional Supply Chain Director META – Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Acino, United Arab Emirates

  • 2021-22

    APMA (Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa) Innovative Medicines Regional Supply Chain Head at Novartis, United Arab Emirates

  • 2016-22

    MEA Cluster SC Head at Novartis, United Arab Emirates

  • 2013-16

    Supply Chain Head at Novartis (Innovative Medicine) Saudi Arabia

  • 2008-13

    Product Supply Section head, Egypt, Near East and North Africa at Novartis OTC, Egypt

  • 2007-08

    Material Planner at GSK, Egypt

Ralph Halter

Global Head of IT

BSc Marketing, University of Applied Science FHNW Basel

Professional background

  • 2009-19

    Corporate Head of IT Strategy and Planning, Panalpina, Basel

  • 2003-05

    Head of IT Competence Center Latin America, Panalpina, Brazil

  • 1995-03

    Head of Corporate Data Center, Panalpina Basel

  • 1993-95

    Senior Data Administrator Retail, Ikea, Southern Europe, Basel

  • 1990-92

    Product Manager, Fides Informatik, Basel

Denis Glyadyaev

Head of Russia

The Russian State Social University. Finance

Professional background

  • 2017-18

    OTC Business Unit Director Russia at Akrikhin/Polpharma, Moscow

  • 2015-17

    Sales and Business Development Director Russia and Belarus at Kimberly-Clark, Moscow

  • 2013-15

    Regional Director of Caucasus countries at Kimberly-Clark, Baku

  • 2010-13

    Head of Marketing for Baby Child Care and Family Care at Kimberly-Clark, Moscow

  • 2008-13

    Head of Trade Marketing for Family Care & Baby Child Care businesses at Kimberly-Clark, Moscow

  • 2006-08

    Regional Trade Marketing Leader Russia and CIS at Dirol Cadbury LLC, Moscow

  • 2004-06

    Head of Trade Marketing at EFKO Foods, Russia

  • 1998-04

    Various roles in sales in Russian companies

  • 1997-98

    Credit Expert at 'SBS - AGRO' Bank, Moscow

Jim Harold

Head of Latin America (LATAM)

Bachelor of Science in Physiology from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne



Professional background

  • 2015-19

    President and Head of Middle East and North Africa, Novartis Pharma Services AG

  • 2011-15

    Head of Novartis Vaccines Latin America, Novartis Argentina

  • 2003-11

    CEO and Country President, Novartis Argentina

  • 2001-03

    VP Transplant and Immunology Business Unit, Novartis USA

  • 2000-01

    CEO and Country President, Novartis Chile

  • 1998-99

    Head of Sales and Marketing Region Americas, Novartis Brazil

  • 1997-98

    Head of Specialty Business Unit, Novartis Argentina

  • 1994-96

    Head of Sales and Marketing Argentina, Sandoz

  • 1991-94

    General Manager West Africa, Sandoz

Board of Directors

Fahad Al Qassim

Chairman of the Board of Acino Group since April 2022

MBA in Finance, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia

Bachelor in Applied Computing, Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK

Professional background

Fahad Al Qassim is the Executive Director of Healthcare, Pharma and Financial Services at ADQ. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Amoun Pharmaceuticals and a Board Member of Pure Health, Daman, SEHA and Aramex. Prior to joining ADQ, Fahad served as the CEO of Emirates NBD Capital.

Kaj-Erik Relander

Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Audit Committee of Acino Group since July 2022

MBA, Aalto University in Finland and the Wharton School in the USA

MSc in Economics, Aalto University in Finland

Professional background

Kaj-Erik Relander is a businessman and an investor. In 2019, he joined ADQ as Member of the Board and Audit and Executive Committees. Kaj-Erik serves as a board member at a number of other companies, including Abu Dhabi Global Markets, Louis Dreyfus Company, SES (SESG), Starzplay Arabia and Apis Partners Private Equity Fund.

Dena Almansoori

Member of the Board of Acino Group since May 2023

MBA, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland

Bachelor of Science in Finance and Management Information Systems, Boston University in Boston, USA

Professional background

Dena Almansoori is the Group Chief Human Resources Officer at e& (Etisalat Group). She is the founder and CEO of WhiteBox HR, a Tech company specialising in AI and people science. With over 20 years of experience spearheading disruptive HR strategies and technologies across multiple industries and continents, Dena uses her global perspective and deep understanding of organizational behaviour to drive talent initiatives and large-scale organizational transformations.

Mohamed Kaissi

Member of the Board of Acino Group since May 2023

Bachelor’s degree in Finance & Business Law from California State University

Program for Leadership Development (PLD) from Harvard Business School

Professional background

Mohamed Kaissi is the Executive Director of Strategic Projects at ADQ. He also provides decision support and analysis for the ADQ’s MD & CEO on various economic and strategic topics to help inform decision making across ADQ. Prior to joining ADQ, he served as Director for Economic and Energy Affairs at the Executive Affairs Authority, providing strategic advice on economic and energy policies for the Abu Dhabi and the UAE governments.

Sunil Bhilotra

Member of the Board of Acino Group since April 2022

MBA, London Business School

Bachelor of Commerce, McGill University

Professional background

Sunil Bhilotra served as Director of Portfolio Management, Healthcare, Pharma and Life Sciences at ADQ since 2020.

Per Edelmann

Member of the Board of Acino Group since July 2022

MSc, MBA and Bachelor in Finance from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark

Professional background

Per Edelmann is an independent life sciences advisor and founder of Edelmann Advisory. Since 2014, he has served as an Operating Partner at Apax Partners and member of multiple non-executive boards in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

Louay Abou Chanab

Member of the Board of Acino Group since July 2022

MBA, ESCP-EAP, Paris in France

Bachelor of Science, Marketing Management, Lebanese American University in Lebanon

Professional background

Louay Abou Chanab is the Chief Strategy Officer at ADQ in the UAE. Prior to joining ADQ, he worked as an Advisor to the Abu Dhabi Executive Office.