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Headed for the exit: Sanofi CEO Brandicourt to retire, Novartis' Hudson steps in

June 07, 2019 / Eric Sagonowsky

On Sept. 1, Brandicourt will retire, and Hudson—who was formerly president of Novartis’ pharma business—will take the reins at the French drugmaker. The change in leadership comes after Sanofi in March confirmed it was working on succession planning for Brandicourt, who took the helm at Sanofi in April 2015. At the time, the CEO was two years away from his 65th birthday, and the company sets that age limit for its leaders. It also comes after several years of turmoil at the French drugmaker. As CEO, Brandicourt has grappled with a diabetes business torpedoed by pricing pressure and competition and a thin pipeline of new drug candidates. He quickly unveiled a restructuring plan to cut costs and jobs and focus on five business units. He also got to work scouting deals. After missing out on Medivation and Actelion, Sanofi last year inked buyouts of Ablynx and Bioverativ, boosting its rare disease presence. The company also swapped assets with Boehringer Ingelheim in 2016...