Sanofi Downsizes Executive Board

Four Top Managers Head for the Exits

  • Paul Hudson, new CEO of Sanofi, has taken quick steps to implement a plan to reduce the company's executive committee. (c) SanofiPaul Hudson, new CEO of Sanofi, has taken quick steps to implement a plan to reduce the company's executive committee. (c) Sanofi

Paul Hudson, new CEO of Sanofi, has taken quick steps to implement a plan announced on Feb. 6 to reduce the company's executive committee from 14 to 10 members. At the company’s Q4 2019 results presentation, Hudson said he hoped to allocate more central expertise in the business units and increase accountability.

On Feb. 12, the French drugmaker confirmed the names of four executives headed for the exits as hinted at by Bloomberg a day earlier. The departures include chief medical and digital officer Ameet Nathwani; Dieter Weinand, head of primary care; Dominique Carouge, head of business transformation; and Kathleen Tregoning, head of external affairs.

During the earnings presentation, Hudson said that rather than having a hybrid chief medical and digital officer the company would create a separate position for digital, to stress one of its priorities. He said the drugmaker had fallen behind in its digital agenda, and that the new digital officer’s role would be aimed at improving user experience and data science management.

Nathwani was appointed chief medical officer in 2016 and additionally assumed the role of chief digital officer in 2019. As one of his major initiatives, he is credited with building a partnership with Google aimed at developing new technologies such as digital.

Trade journal Fierce Pharma, however, quotes Hudson as saying at a meeting last year he doesn’t think pharma companies necessarily need to partner with tech giants to get the job done.

In December 2019, Sanofi sidelined its diabetes joint venture Onduo, established in 2016 with Google’s sister company Verily. The jv reportedly will be restructured as Sanofi trims its diabetes franchise.

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