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Novartis Pharma head to become new Sanofi CEO

Published on 07/06/19 at 11:15am
Image Credit: By BHCSocialMedia - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38594945

French drugmaker Sanofi has revealed that its CEO Olivier Brandicourt is to retire from the role, to be replaced with Paul Hudson (pictured), CEO at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

The decision was made on 6 June, when Sanofi’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve Brandicourt’s replacement. Hudson will take up the mantle on 1 September this year.

That date will mark the end of Brandicourt’s four years with the company. He joined in 2015 to succeed Chris Viehbacher, leaving his roles as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management at Bayer, a role he held for two years between 2013 and 2015. Prior to that, Brandicourt spent more than a decade at US pharma firm Pfizer, which he joined in 2000 after its acquisition of Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, where he had begun his career in Medical Affairs before moving into Marketing and Management. At Pfizer, he worked in a range of senior positions including President and General Manafer of the Global Speciality Care and Primary Care businesses.

Brandicourt is leaving the company to enter an early retirement. Upon the announcement, the firm thanked him for having “steered the group through a complex period and for his decisive contribution to the company's return to growth”.

British-born Hudson also joined his current company relatively recently, just three years ago. Previous to this, he served for a decade at AstraZeneca, joining in 2006 as Vice President and Primary Care Director, later working through the ranks to become Marketing Company President, Spain and President of AstraZeneca Japan. Before his jump to Novartis, he held the position of President, AstraZeneca US and Executive Vice President, North America.

Marie-France Tschudin, head of Novartis’ recent acquisition Advanced Accelerator Applications, was named by Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan as Hudson’s replacement.

Serge Weinberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sanofi, remarked on the decision: "We are very pleased that Paul Hudson has agreed to join Sanofi. His skills and experience give him all the assets he needs to accelerate growth and lead the Group's adaptation to new strategic challenges, particularly in the areas of Research and Development and digital. His human values will enable him to mobilize all the energies and increase the agility, that a group such as Sanofi needs, to face the new challenges of our industry and the changes in healthcare systems around the world".

Matt Fellows

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