Sector News

Novo’s purported CEO-to-be is out the door amid executive reshuffle

April 30, 2015
Life sciences
Novo Nordisk blew out the first quarter, with sales increases all over the place, and a 73% leap in earnings. But the most surprising part of that press release is slotted in at the very end: “Kåre Schultz, president and COO, leaves Novo Nordisk.”
 
Schultz had been expected to take the CEO chair from Lars Rebien Sørensen, who’s 61 years old and nearing the end of his employment contract. Sørensen wasn’t exactly ready to head for the exit, but in the meantime, Novo had elevated Schultz to president and COO. The idea–or so it was said–was to get Schultz ready for the top job.
 
Now, it’s on to Plan B.
 
To replace Schultz, the Danish drugmaker is shuffling top management to add several people to its executive committee, including U.S. commercial chief Jesper Høiland, European commercial chief Jerzy Gruhn, and supply chain chief Henrik Wulff.
 
Novo executives discussed Q1 results Thursday morning. In the company statement, though, his only comment about the management changes was this: “Kåre Schultz has during his 26 years with us played a key role in making Novo Nordisk a successful global company. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
 
Sørensen talked more expansively about the company’s Q1 results, marked by sales increases of top products Victoza (up 18% in constant currencies, twice as much operationally) and Levemir (up 13%). North American sales grew across the board by 12%. Margins grew by 1.6 percentage points, thanks to foreign exchange boosts.
 
Overall, Novo’s first-quarter sales were up by 9% in local currencies, to 25.2 Danish crowns, or about $3.78 billion. Profits? almost 10 billion crowns, or about $1.49 billion, including the partial divestment of its IT subsidiary, NNIT, for an increase of 53%. Without that sale, profits were up 22%.
 
By Tracy Staton
 

Related News

September 23, 2020

Novartis, Siemens to develop blood tests for multiple sclerosis

Life sciences

Siemens Healthineers has inked what it describes as a “master collaboration agreement” with Novartis to help provide diagnostic tests linked to therapies across the drugmaker’s pipeline. To start, the companies […]

September 22, 2020

GSK’s Zejula and AZ’s Lynparza leap toward broader EU approval

Life sciences

GlaxoSmithKline’s Zejula and AstraZeneca’s Lynparza have both moved towards EU approval in new indications after receiving positive opinions from the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human […]

September 22, 2020

Roche acquires Irish biotech firm Inflazome

Life sciences

Swiss pharma company Roche is set to acquire Irish biotech firm Inflazome for an upfront payment of $449m (€380m). In addition to the upfront payment, Inflazome is also eligible to […]