Vasant Narasimhan to succeed Joseph Jimenez as Novartis' CEO

Amy Schofield 05 September 2017

CEO of Novartis, Joseph Jimenez, has announced his decision to retire in 2018, after eight years at the company's helm.

The Board of Directors has appointed Dr Vasant (Vas) Narasimhan, Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, as Jimenez's successor as CEO, effective February 1, 2018.

Dr Narasimhan is a member of the Executive Committee and joined Novartis in 2005.

Jimenez, who originally joined the company joined the company in 2007, has been CEO since 2010. He first led the Consumer Health Division, and then held the position of Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. After he steps down as CEO, he will be available for advice and support at the request of the Chairman of the Board of Directors or the CEO until he retires from the company on August 31, 2018.

Dr Narasimhan has held numerous leadership positions across Novartis in commercial, drug development and strategy roles. Prior to his current role he served as Head of Development for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Novartis in 2005, he worked at McKinsey & Company.

He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in the US and obtained a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. During and after his medical studies, he worked extensively on a range of health issues in developing countries. 

Joerg Reinhardt, Chairman of the Novartis Board of Directors, said: "I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Joe's achievements as CEO. We anticipate a smooth transition as Joe built a strong leadership team and mentored his successor. Novartis will be well positioned to continue its momentum." 

Jimenez said: "Both from a professional and a personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Vas. On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the US. I'm confident that Vas will be an excellent successor." 


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