Sanofi has appointed Paul Hudson, former leader of Novartis’ pharmaceuticals division, to succeed Olivier Brandicourt as CEO.
Brandicourt is planning to retire in September. The French drugmaker has a mandatory CEO-retirement age of 65, but Brandicourt, 63, is stepping down early. In March, Sanofi said it was beginning to work on a succession plan as Brandicourt neared retirement age.
Hudson has served as CEO of Novartis’ pharmaceuticals division since July 2016. Prior to joining the company, he spent 10 years at AstraZeneca, where he led organizations in the U.S., U.K., Spain and Japan, according to his LinkedIn account. Hudson was replaced at Novartis by Marie-France Tschudin, who was previously president of Novartis subsidiary Advanced Accelerator Applications.
Sanofi beat expectations on Q1 earnings and sales. Drugs such as Dupixent, which treats asthma and eczema, and its vaccines franchise were the biggest earners, while older treatments such as insulin Lantus and multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada saw declines.
Several senior executives have left Novartis this year. This week, Samit Hirawat, head of oncology drug development, exited the company to join Bristol-Myers Squibb. In March, Richard Francis, CEO of Novartis genetics unit Sandoz, also stepped down.