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The Dengue Vaccine Company: an agile team of teams


Guillaume Leroy, the vice president of Sanofi Pasteur’s first ever “team of teams,” explains how connecting across difference is driving the kind of agility and breakthrough innovation necessary to develop, produce, and market a vaccine against dengue virus

The Dengue Company was formed in 2011 as the first dedicated internal structure for a vaccine at the world’s largest vaccine company, Sanofi Pasteur. “The Dengue Company brings together a core group of over 500 Sanofi Pasteur employees from all functions dedicated to the development, production, and marketing of a dengue vaccine candidate,” explains Guillaume Leroy, who was appointed vice president in September 2011. Since its formation, the company has proven itself uniquely agile and resilient at achieving breakthrough innovation in the face of extreme uncertainty and complexity. Guillaume states that the company plans to launch the first dengue vaccine by 2016 in endemic countries. Their success is the result of an innovative “team of teams” organizational model. As Guillaume explains, breaking from a more traditional approach in favor of a highly transversal, networked model enabled them to achieve “agility, focus, a consolidated agenda, and to address internal and external stakeholder expectations.”

Managing timing and complexity
According to Guillaume, after having set a common vision for the success of our mission, the primary concern of his company’s leadership is the management of two key factors: timing and complexity. “We have more questions than answers, with any research outcome potentially changing our understanding of the vaccine. We can’t get lost in all that complexity. Our leadership team needs to eat that complexity and turn it into simpler, more pragmatic outcomes,” he says. “This vaccine is not a sequential process: there are many parallel processes that need to be synchronized.” With their global view of the Dengue Company’s different departments and speeds, Guillaume and other leaders are able to develop roadmaps to guide the timing of deliverables. “It is about ensuring co-ordinated…Read more

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The Dengue Vaccine Company an agile team of teams

Interview with Guillaume Leroy, Vice President, Dengue Vaccine Company, Sanofi Pasteur, August 2015.

Caroline Schuurman
Published by Caroline Schuurman