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Sanofi confirms new chief executive

Published on 20/02/15 at 08:35am
Olivier Brandicourt image
Oliver Brandicourt

Bayer chairman Olivier Brandicourt has been named as Sanofi’s new chief executive to replace Chris Viehbacher who was ejected from the role in October. 

The news puts to bed a series of speculative candidates that surfaced across the news over the long period that the French pharma giant remained without a leader, although Serge Weinburg had stepped in as acting chief executive for the interim. 

Weinberg, who goes back to being the board chairman at Sanofi, says: "Sanofi undertook a rigorous selection process to identify the right person to lead Sanofi forward at an important time for our company. I am very pleased that Olivier Brandicourt will be the next chief executive officer of Sanofi.” 

Brandicourt who will be replaced by Werner Baumann at Bayer, held key positions within pharma prior to his role at the firm, including stints at Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert and Pfizer, where he served as a member of its executive leadership team for three years from 2010. 

Sanofi will be hoping that his 25 years of industry experience will help the firm deal with pricing pressure in the diabetes market, which account for around 20% of its sales. As only recently it noted that figures for its diabetes unit will not be growing in 2015. 

The firm is pinning hopes on regulatory filings for Praluent, along with positive late-stage trial results of its dengue virus vaccine – and Toujeo, a new long-lasting insulin glargine which will enter the final stages of the regulatory process in the US and Europe soon.

Confident they’ve picked the right man for the job to start in April, Weinburg adds: “Olivier Brandicourt's strong experience combined with his international profile, deep knowledge of US and emerging healthcare markets, and his capability to unite teams will provide new dynamism to Sanofi's strategy of diversification and innovation." 

Brett Wells

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