Novartis’ Daniel Vasella handed over the chief executive role to Joe Jimenez, who headed the company’s pharmaceuticals division, in February. Vasella continues to serve as chairman of the board. The change completes a succession plan which began in 2008. David Epstein, previously head of oncology, replaces Jimenez as head of pharmaceuticals.
Merck hired Bridgette P. Heller to head the company’s consumer health division. Heller joins Merck from Johnson & Johnson, where she was president of the baby global business unit since 2007. She was previously global president, baby, kids and wound care. At Merck, she will be EVP and president, consumer healthcare, reporting to chairman, president and CEO Dick Clark. She succeeds Stanley F. Barshay, who is retiring.