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Lars Rebien Sørensen to retire as CEO of Novo Nordisk

Published on 01/09/16 at 09:24am

Novo Nordisk has announced that its president and CEO Lars Rebian Sørensen (pictured) is to retire at the end of the year. In his place, current vice president Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen will assume the role, effective 1 January.

"Succeeding Lars, who during 16 years as CEO of Novo Nordisk has spearheaded Novo Nordisk into a global, very successful and highly respected pharmaceutical company, is a tall order,” comments Göran Ando, chairman of the Board of Directors of Novo Nordisk A/S. “On behalf of Novo Nordisk's Board of Directors and the company's employees, I want to thank Lars for his outstanding leadership, steady course and commitment to Novo Nordisk through good and difficult times during his 34 years with the company."

"The decision to appoint Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen as new CEO is the result of a rigorous process during which a number of qualified candidates were considered,” Ando continues. “With his track record of creating results, driving change and being a role model for the Novo Nordisk Way of running a company, the Board is confident that he is the perfect successor to Lars Rebien Sørensen. In his new role, he will be charged with leading Novo Nordisk through a time of extraordinary change in healthcare systems around the world, with the company's long-term strategy, the triple bottom line business principle and long-term financial targets as his guiding posts."

Reflecting on his long career at the company, Sørensen remarks: "It has been an honour to work here for more than 30 years and to serve as CEO during a period where we have been able to grow our business, build a strong pipeline and launch important new products to the benefit of our patients, our shareholders and our employees. I have been closely involved in the assessments that have led to the Board's decision to appoint Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen as my successor, a decision which I fully support. He is a great businessman and people leader and has a natural ability to find solutions where others see problems."

Jørgensen himself added that he is "proud and humble to be offered the job as CEO. On the one hand, Novo Nordisk has never had a stronger portfolio and organisation; on the other hand, we are facing an unprecedented level of payer pressure and competition. I love challenges, and therefore I can't think of a more exciting time to be offered the job of CEO in Novo Nordisk - a company I have served for more than 25 years and am really passionate about."

The boards of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and its holding company Novo A/S will nominate Sørensen to become a member of the two boards in March 2017.

The company has also announced a number of executive-level shake-ups: Jakob Riis, currently executive vice president and head of Region China, Pacific & Marketing, has been appointed executive vice president and head of North America Operations. Executive vice president and head of International Operations Maziar Mike Doustdar has taken on enlarged responsibility for an expanded International Operations unit covering all territories except for North America. Lastly, Jerzy Gruhn, executive vice president and head of Europe, will step down from executive management and will continue as head of Europe as senior vice president, reporting to Doustdar.

Matt Fellows

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