Pharmaceutical company Astellas announced the promotion of Linda Friedman as executive vice president, general counsel, with responsibility for the company's legal operations worldwide, effective April 1.

Friedman, currently senior vice president and general counsel for Astellas Americas, will become a member of the executive committee. She will report to Astellas President and Chief Executive Officer Yoshihiko Hatanaka.

Friedman joined Fujisawa (which merged with Yamanouchi in 2005 to create Astellas) in 1993 as a corporate attorney and has since held positions of increasing responsibility. In 1998, Friedman was named senior corporate counsel and vice president, responsible for oversight of the legal function in the United States and subsequently the Americas region. Prior to joining Fujisawa, Friedman was chief corporate counsel at insurance agency, Associated Agencies. 

Catherine Levitt will succeed Friedman in April as the legal head for the Americas region. Levitt was named vice president, legal, for Astellas U.S. in March 2016, after serving as vice president of risk management and chief litigation counsel for Astellas U.S. since 2013.