Saskia Fontein

Key Consultants

Saskia is an experienced life sciences & healthcare consultant highly skilled at developing creative strategies and leading successful implementation. She has over 20 years’ experience in commercial strategy and operations in multiple therapeutic areas, including rare diseases, HIV, vaccines and primary care.

Sector and Service Expertise

Saskia is a recognised expert in developing and executing successful new product launch strategies. A proven project manager with in-depth knowledge gained across the globe, she has built and led agile high-performing multi-functional teams able to deliver results within dynamic and competitive markets. Saskia is multilingual and an excellent communicator, highly skilled at building effective partnerships with key internal and external stakeholders to generate new business opportunities, build strategic alliances and overcome complex challenges.

Strengths and Career Achievements

Prior to consulting, Saskia worked at Pfizer, ViiV Healthcare and GSK. At GSK, she was most recently VP & General Manager for Denmark, where she launched two new medicines, managed a generic competitor entry and executed an organisational restructure. Prior to this, she was Vaccines Commercialisation Lead for Pneumococcal Vaccines, based in Belgium. In this role, she drove 20% growth for a mature vaccine and improved profitability through changes to the supply chain processes to reduce product write-offs. She also conducted successful negotiations with supranational organisations, such as the Global Vaccines Alliance (Gavi) and tech transfers with local manufacturers to unlock new markets.

At ViiV Healthcare, Saskia was a member of the founding Executive Team as VP, Head of Commercial Strategy. In this role she led the turnaround of declining mature brands, developed the portfolio strategy and led innovative launch strategies for flagship products, working with key partners to achieve first year sales 200% ahead of plan in all key markets. She also led a patient centred approach resulting in ViiV Healthcare being voted #1 five years running on “Corporate reputation from a patient perspective” by Patient View, and initiated a culture change across the organisation to a “challenger” culture resulting in faster decision making and higher employee engagement.

At Pfizer headquarters in New York, Saskia worked in various positions of increasing responsibility in New Product Development, Worldwide Commercial development and US Marketing, across multiple disease areas.

Saskia holds a BSc (Hons) in Human Sciences from Loughborough University.

Discover other key Skarbek people

Dr R Jeremy Stone MD MBA FRSA

Jeremy is a physician, entrepreneur, financier, investor, CEO, CFO and consulting strategist with more than 25 years of global experience

Danielle Dunfield-Prayero

Danielle brings deep experience in the corporate finance, investment banking and life sciences sectors

Paul Heugh

Senior business leader with formidable global experience in the planning and execution of strategy

Alison Comber

Alison is a consultant with deep commercial, project management and operational experience across a range of disciplines

This is a £600m global business…our number one priority programme…35 factories…£100m business impact…a machine where the wheels must be changed whilst it’s running…in need of a full overhaul…Skarbek has brought simplicity, structure, and clarity.
Global supply chain director
FTSE 100