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Novartis exec designated as new CEO after Jimenez announces retirement

Published on: 05/09/17

Novartis has announced that its Chief Executive, Joe Jimenez, is set to retire next year. In his place, Vasant Narasimhan (pictured), its Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, will step up to lead the company.

Jimenez, 58, has held the top position since 2010 and has been with the company for a decade. He will step down from the role on 31 January, 2018, and will continue to operate in an advisory capacity until he retires fully from Novartis on 31 August. During his time with Novartis, he was responsible for restructuring the company after a period of rapid global expansion.

“During his tenure, Joe focused Novartis on leading global businesses, while divesting non-core divisions,” commented Chairman Joerg Reinhardt. “Under his leadership the innovation pipeline was rejuvenated, and we successfully navigated the patent expirations of our two largest products.”

Jimenez himself remarked “Both from a professional and a personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Vas. Our strong pipeline and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Novartis on a strong path for the future.”

“On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the US,” he added.

Reinhardt also praised Jimenez’s replacement: “Vas is deeply anchored in medical science, has significant experience in managing the interfaces between research and development and commercial units and has strong business acumen with a track record of outstanding achievements.”

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