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Sanofi scouts replacement for CFO Jérôme Contamine

April 18, 2018
Life sciences

Sanofi’s Jérôme Contamine has been managing finances at the global drugmaker for nearly a decade, but that run will come to an end later this year. The CFO said he intends to retire after helping the company through a transition period, according to a spokesperson.

Contamine “will work with the company on finding a replacement and assist with the transition once a successor has been named,” Sanofi’s representative said.

A graduate of the prestigious French engineering school Ecole Polytechnique, Contamine took the CFO position at Sanofi in 2009. At the time, the now-former Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher tasked Contamine with being “deeply involved in the simplification of our operational structures to adapt our group to future challenges.”

Of course, Contamine has seen Sanofi’s finances through plenty of changes since then, first under Viehbacher and then as current CEO Olivier Brandicourt continued to reshape the company. In 2009, Sanofi’s basal insulin Lantus was still on an upward trajectory; now, it’s beset by biosimilars and other competition. In 2009, the company had yet to buy the Boston-based biotech Genzyme, a deal that transformed the company and moved its center of gravity away from Europe for the first time.

In 2009, the company bought Zentiva, the European generics outfit that Sanofi has been trying to sell. Just this week, the company disclosed it’s in exclusive negotiations with Advent International to sell the business in a deal that would bookend Contamine’s tenure at Sanofi.

Sanofi has been active elsewhere on the M&A front in recent years, as well. In one 2016 deal, it swapped assets with Boehringer Ingelheim, trading away animal health unit Merial in exchange for BI’s consumer health group.

Already this year, the drugmaker has shelled out twice to expand its pipeline and rare disease presence. Sanofi picked up hemophilia-focused Bioverativ for $11.6 billion in January and followed that up days later with a $4.6 billion deal for nanobody biotech Ablynx. The deals followed failed pursuits of Actelion and Medivation last year, as those companies sold to Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, respectively.

Sanofi won’t be the only top drugmaker losing a CFO this year. Johnson & Johnson’s Dominic Caruso, that company’s longest-serving chief financial officer, decided to retire in September.

By Eric Sagonowsky

Source: Fierce Pharma

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