ELITE 2020 Leader of the Future Kavita Patel of Genentech/Hoffmann-La Roche

Kavita Patel

LifeCycle Leader

Genentech/Hoffmann-La Roche

Leading Significant Change Management

When Kavita Patel joined Roche 17 years ago, the head of the pharma business asked her where she eventually saw herself. Her response: LifeCycle Leader. In March 2020, she became LifeCycle Leader in infectious disease. But everything she has done in her career suggests this isn’t an end goal by any means. In fact, it isn’t hard to envision her running everything one day.

Kavita has seemingly implemented change management throughout her every role in the organization. While in immunology/rheumatology, she not only led a national field team of 32 nurse educators, but she pretty much changed the scope of what this team does across the organization. She led an initiative to better define the team’s role, came up with clear objectives to illustrate their value, and then adapted these measures for other nurse educator teams in the company. And now, the capabilities nurse educators bring are highly valued across the organization.

More recently, she led the development of a new structure and mindset within the respiratory marketing team in which she decreased the hierarchy of roles in order to create a more empowered and nimble marketing team. Instead of placing marketers in siloed, narrow roles that would force them to bounce from job to job every 18 months, they were able to take on projects across the team and marketing function, undergoing richer development while taking on more robust responsibilities.

The change also led to more co-creation, where the team worked with patients and HCPs to better deliver what they wanted and in a quicker fashion. For example, the team transitioned one of their products to sustainable packaging in a mere three months. And their work has led to success across the portfolio with each product in the respiratory franchise achieving year-over-year growth.

Passionate about diversity and inclusion, Kavita also worked with the organization’s U.S. leadership team to help define the North Star for diversity. So, what’s next for her now that she has reached her initial goal?

“I would like to become a GM in a country where I can have a significant impact on the patients in that market,” Kavita says.


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