The Chairmanship assists the Board of Directors with: the planning of the Board meetings to ensure a balance between overall strategy-setting and financial and managerial supervision of the company; employment, incentive remuneration and performance evaluation of Executive Management; and represents the Board externally.

The Chairmanship consists of the chair and vice chair of the Board of Directors, both of whom are elected directly by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.

At the Annual General Meeting in March 2021, Helge Lund was re-elected as chair and Jeppe Christiansen was re-elected as vice chair of the Board of Directors. Helge Lund became chair of the Board in 2018 and Jeppe Christiansen became vice chair in connection with his first election in 2013.

The chair qualifies as independent as defined by the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations, while the vice chair qualifies as non-independent given that he is a Board member of the main shareholder Novo Holdings A/S.

In 2020, the Chairmanship conducted seven meetings. The chair attended all meetings in 2020 whereas the vice chair was excused from one meeting in 2020. 

  • Prepared the Board’s Annual Wheel for 2021.
  • Prepared each Board meeting including preparation of the agenda and review of key recommendations to the Board regarding business performance and proposals for budgets/targets, business plans, strategies/policies, investments, financial reporting, shareholders meetings and ensured follow up on decisions made by the Board.
  • Reviewed and suggested changes to the documents governing the Board and committees, incl. the Rules of Procedure of the Board, the Chairmanship Charter, charters for the Board committees and the Guidelines for Executive Management.
  • Conducted the annual review of the company’s shareholder activism and takeover response capabilities.
  • Conducted a review of the company’s investment portfolio.

  • Reviewed the proposed agenda for the 2020 Annual General Meeting.
  • Conducted meetings with 8 of Novo Nordisk’s large shareholders.

  • Reviewed the organisational structure and employee composition as well as the future need for competences.
  • Reviewed the composition of and the succession plan for the Executive Management.
  • Reviewed the achievement of the LTIP 2019 targets and recommended to the Board the targets for LTIP 2020.
  • Conducted the annual performance evaluation of the Executive Management.

  • Strategy execution within the therapy areas and in different markets.
  • Digitalisation.
  • External innovation – partnering and acquisition to access external innovation.
  • Organisational development – talent and leadership development as well as succession preparedness, core capabilities and development of the company culture.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic – expected impact for Novo Nordisk and logistics of future Board meetings.