Sector News

CEO-hunting Sanofi tried to tempt AstraZeneca’s Soriot: Bloomberg

October 30, 2014
Life sciences
Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson figures Sanofi would do well to look outside the company for its new CEO, like AstraZeneca did with its new-ish chief, Pascal Soriot. Well, Sanofi had a more literal view: The French drugmaker has contacted Soriot himself.
 
Sanofi’s board sacked CEO Chris Viehbacher Wednesday, ending an 8-year tenure full of buyouts, job cuts, international expansion and R&D restructuring. Apparently, that tenure also included conflict with the board, at least in recent months. Chairman Serge Weinberg said the board wants to work more closely and cooperatively with a CEO; Weinberg has been casting about for a potential replacement since early September at least.
 
As Bloomberg reports, Sanofi’s board approached Soriot to see if he might be interested in the job. According to the news service’s sources, Soriot wasn’t.
 
Soriot joined AstraZeneca in 2012  from Roche, where he ran the Swiss drugmaker’s pharma division. He has his hands full at AstraZeneca, which has been struggling to replace revenue lost to generic competition, particularly for its antipsychotic drug Seroquel. Like Viehbacher, he has made a series of deals designed to restock the company’s pipeline and rolled out a restructuring with thousands of job cuts. Unlike Viehbacher, Soriot had to contend with a hostile bid from Pfizer, which gave up its takeover quest in May–at least temporarily.
 
That Sanofi would reach out to Soriot might soothe investors and analysts worried that Sanofi will return to its insular, France-centric ways. But then again, Soriot is French–and as Bloomberg points out, he worked at Aventis before his career at Roche. Sanofi’s previous moniker was Sanofi-Aventis, of course, which means Soriot has been in the family.
 
Another potential CEO, according to Bloomberg’s sources, is Smith & Nephew chief Olivier Bohuon, who’s also French, with stints at the France-based drugmaker Pierre Fabre, as well as U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories and U.K. drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline. Then there’s Roch Doliveux, who’s leaving the Belgian drugmaker UCB as of Jan. 1, the news service’s sources said.
 
By Tracy Staton
 

comments closed

Related News

February 4, 2023

MedTrace receives U.S. patent for diagnosing the human heart

Life sciences

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to MedTrace for their method of diagnosing the human heart via 15O-water PET. The patented method is the foundation of the company’s software aQuant, currently under development. Hendrik “Hans” Harms, PhD and Senior Scientist at MedTrace, and Jens Soerensen, Professor and Clinical Advisor to MedTrace, are the originators of the method.

February 4, 2023

Roche taps insider Teresa Graham for top pharma job as setbacks prompt M&A questions

Life sciences

Teresa Graham, currently head of global product strategy for Roche pharma, will become the division’s new CEO next month, Roche said Thursday. Simultaneously, Roche is elevating Levi Garraway, chief medical officer, to the executive committee.

February 4, 2023

J&J’s pharma group quietly works through global overhaul, with layoffs expected to reach multiple countries

Life sciences

Fierce Pharma has obtained internal documents and video of a town hall meeting conducted this week describing what J&J called a “comprehensive review” of its portfolio. Moving forward, J&J plans to operate its vaccines and infectious diseases outfits as one group, the executives explained.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach