For Ester Banque, “Be a Change Agent” has been her guiding principle throughout 25+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, resulting in record-breaking team performances, award-winning launches and a track record of prolific talent development.A successful senior executive with a portfolio of accomplishments in geographies spanning the globe, Ester has delivered significant innovation while remaining patient-centric, ensuring the broadest possible access to critically-needed treatments. Grounded in the belief that success is a shared effort, she is passionate about building, empowering and leading high-performing teams -- making a difference for patients while achieving unprecedented business results.
In her current role as SVP & Head of Intercontinental Commercial, Ester oversees a diverse and dynamic multi-national region, with responsibilities for 50+ markets including China, Asia, Australia, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, Brazil and the Middle East. Under Ester’s leadership, Intercontinental achieved double digit growth in 2019.
Ester began her career as a sales representative in Spain for Novartis AG. She was quickly promoted to positions of increasing responsibility, working in a comprehensive series of treatment areas including hematology, cardiovascular, transplant, pain, women’s health care, immunology, dermatology. She most recently served as General Manager and Head of Oncology in Germany where, as leader of the company’s second largest market, Ester was credited with successfully spearheading a turnaround following a major loss of exclusivity.
Previously, during her tenure as VP & Head Immunology & Dermatology for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in the US, Ester drove the launch of Cosentyx which, in 2019, became one of the company’s biggest brand. In addition, she achieved their largest franchise growth, tripling revenues in less than two years. Prior, she held several executive positions including Region Europe Immunology & Dermatology Franchise Head (overseeing 40 countries), Business Franchise Head Hematology for Spain, Regional Sales Director Cardiovascular & Metabolic in Spain, and Marketing Head for the UK.
Ester has been recognized around the world as a role model and mentor, receiving many awards and citations including the Women Worth Watching Award, Women Inspiring Women Worldwide Award and finalist for Europharma’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been quoted in leading industry publications and featured on YouTube, for her dedication to the principles of Diversity & Inclusion. A sought-after guest speaker, she has delivered widely quoted keynotes and participated in panels at conferences and distinguished medical, leadership and diversity forums.
Educated in Spain, with a BSc in Chemistry and an MBA, Ester has merged her dedication to science with a desire to enhance people’s lives. Together, with her wife, Eva, she is raising energetic twin daughters and personifying the power of breaking down barriers -- pursuing what’s possible with passion and purpose.