As the member of the AstraZeneca Senior Executive Team responsible for Operations, David Smith leads the global Manufacturing and Supply organisation. His aim is to ensure that AstraZeneca becomes the recognised industry leader through sustained supply excellence. David is also responsible for the AstraZeneca Group Safety, Health and Environment, Regulatory Compliance, Purchasing and Engineering functions.
David spent his early career in Pharmaceuticals initially with the Wellcome Foundation in the UK. In 1995 he moved to the US and spent 9 years in the consumer goods sector working for Estee Lauder Inc in New York and the Timberland Co as SVP Global Supply Chain. In 2003 he returned to the pharmaceutical sector and joined Novartis AG based in Switzerland.
David joined AstraZeneca in April 2006 as Executive Vice President of Operations.
Here's what The Times say David said to them:
“Manufacturing for AstraZeneca is not a core activity,” Mr Smith said. “AstraZeneca is about innovation and brand-building . . . There are lots of people and organisations that can manufacture better than we can.”
Looking to AstraZeneca’s ultimate aim, Mr Smith said: “We would own the IP [intellectual property], the research, branding and the quality and safety issues . . . but [everything else] would be outsourced. The idea is to take out as many stages as you can.”
Here's what an AZ PR spinmeister then said:
Staffan Ternby, Director of Public Relations, AstraZeneca Sweden claims there has been a misunderstanding, and that the company only plans on outsourcing manufacturing of the chemicals that go into tablets, which is the first step of manufacturing, not the entire manufacturing process.
Well, glad that little misunderstanding has been cleared up!