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Novartis prises Pfizer's Oncology Head away

Published on: 11/01/18

Novartis has been looking to find someone to fill the shoes of Bruno Strigini since it was revealed that he would be leaving the position of CEO of Novartis Oncology due to personal reasons last month. The target that Novartis eventually settled on was Elizabeth Barrett, current Global President & General Manager of Oncology at Pfizer.

Barrett has been working at Pfizer for nearly a decade but the lure of working for a company that brought the first CAR-T treatment to market and has a generally strong position within the therapeutic area was clearly enough to draw her in.

At Pfizer, Barrett worked her way from US President of Oncology to takeover Speciality Care in North America to becoming President of Pfizer Europe. Prior to this, she held role at Cephalon and a 13-year long stint at Johnson & Johnson where she ended her time as Vice President of its Oncology Franchise.

She will begin her role on the same day that incoming CEO, Vasant Narasimhan, will also officially take the reins.

Vasant Narasimhan, designated CEO of Novartis, said: “Liz is a highly accomplished and recognized oncology and people leader with an impressive record of building successful business organisations in the US, Europe and globally. She has been instrumental in creating new commercial models, driving innovation in close partnership with research and development and leveraging business development opportunities. Her long-time commercial pharma industry experience, marketing skills and perspectives make Liz a great fit to further develop our oncology business.”

Speaking on her appointment, Barrett said: “I feel honoured to join Novartis, a recognized pioneer in the oncology area. It is key to me to contribute to transformative advancements in oncology, and to serve in a highly impactful leadership role to this end.”

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