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New Group CEO – Is Novartis facing major changes? | News

Monday, September 4th, 2017 | Economy

Novartis, the Basel health group, is breaking a bomb on Monday morning: Joseph "Joe" Jimenez retires after eight years as a corporate chef at his own request. His successor will be the former research and development leader Vasant Narasimhan. He will follow the footsteps of Jimenez from 1 February next year.
Observers consider less the withdrawal Jimenez than the date of the resignation as surprising. Because Novartis still had to fight with problems from the era of his predecessor Daniel Vasella. In this context, reference is made to the homemade problems with the eye-cure Alcon, or the disappointing performance of Sandoz, a specialist in imitation medicines.
In the pre-market trading of Julius Baer, ​​the Novartis share is therefore unable to escape the weak overall market. At the moment it loses 0.5 percent to 80.45 francs.
Observers are quite disappointed with the price losses. Finally, after the resignation of Jimenez at the beginning of next year, the Basler Health Group could be faced with major changes.
That Vasant Narasimhan succeeds Jimenez, however, is well received in analyst circles. As the author of the Zurich cantonal bank writes an opinion, Narasimhan is an "excellent choice". Under him, his employer will make up for what he has missed in immunoncology or targeted therapy. The analyst identifies the commitment of Narasimhans as positive for the share price performance of the "overweight" stock.
Are major changes to be expected?
Under Jimenez, Novartis took over the oncology party of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for 14.5 billion dollars in April 2014 and sold the British vaccine business in exchange for 7.1 billion francs. At the same time, the two companies contributed their business with non-prescription drugs to a joint venture. The Basel health group also separated from the animal health business. This area went for 5.4 billion dollars to the American rival Eli Lilly.
However, Novartis, under the leadership of Jimenez, was not able to meet the demands of the shareholder after a sale of the shares held to Roche or a spin-off of Alcon. Also speculation about a merger with similar rivals such as AstraZeneca or Bristol Myers Squibb proved to be wrong in recent years.
It would have been better to see if a successor from outside the company had been committed as a corporate executive, so is the tenor. Nevertheless, it is not excluded that Novartis will undergo a further strategic reorientation under Vasant Narasimhan, who comes from his own ranks.


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