Sector News

Novo Nordisk chief Lars Rebien Sorensen to step down early

September 1, 2016
Life sciences

The man who last year topped Harvard Business Review’s “world’s best-performing CEO” ranking will be stepping down from the Danish diabetes company after 16 years on the job.

The departure of Lars Rebien Sorensen also appears to be a departure from its long-term plan, reiterated last year by the company, that was set to see the long-standing chief see out his contract until 2019.

His shoes will from the start of next year be filled by Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, currently the company’s EVP and head of corporate development.

Jorgensen said: “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.

“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 company has over the years seen strong growth, but pricing pressure in the U.S. for diabetes medicines, which is its predominant focus, have increased–and a month ago it was forced to cut its forecast for its full-year profit growth. Generic competition to insulin products is also piling on the problems for all diabetes drugmakers.

Göran Ando, the company’s chairman, said Jørgensen had a track record of “creating results, driving change and being a role model for the Novo Nordisk Way of running a company.” He added: “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.

By Ben Adams

Source: Fierce Pharma

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