Novartis names Bulto new U.S. pharma chief as exec reshuffle continues

Novartis leadership shakeup under CEO Vas Narasimhan has led to a new U.S. pharmaceutical chief. Fabrice Chouraqui, who took on the U.S. job in 2016 from now-Gilead exec Christi Shaw, will step down at the end of August, Novartis said. He will be replaced by Victor Bulto, who currently serves as the head of Novartis U.S. immunology, hepatology and dermatology franchise. The Swiss drugmaker didn’t offer a reason for Chouraqui’s departure but praised his “strong leadership, ethics and integrity.” Bulto, a 14-year Novartis exec, was key in driving the U.S. success of psoriasis drug Cosentyx, which enjoyed 31% second-quarter sales growth in the U.S., to $534 million. He has also worked across every therapeutic area at Novartis, the company said. He will report to Marie France Tschudin, president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals globally, who just herself came onto that role after Paul Hudson left to take the helm at Sanofi from retiring Olivier Brandicourt. Tschudin and Bulto are just the latest examples of senior leadership changes at Novartis. Richard Saynor, a former GlaxoSmithKline exec, just took over the Sandoz CEO title from Richard Francis, who left amid a multiyear transformation Narasimhan initiated that's aiming to turn the generics business into a standalone unit within Novartis.

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