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(Updates with analyst comment, background on Mr. Hudson, comments from Novartis and Sanofi)
By Anthony Shevlin and Olivia Bugault
French drug maker Sanofi SA (SAN.FR) said Friday that Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt will retire and that he will be replaced Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG's (NOVN.EB) Paul Hudson.
Sanofi said Mr. Hudson, who most recently served as chief executive of Novartis's pharmaceuticals unit, will succeed Mr. Brandicourt effective Sept. 1.
"The board of directors would like to thank Olivier Brandicourt for the energy with which he has steered the group through a complex period and for his decisive contribution to the company's return to growth," Sanofi said in a statement.
Mr. Hudson has previously held roles with major pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN).
Serge Weinberg, chairman of the board of directors of Sanofi, said: "We are very pleased that Paul Hudson has agreed to join Sanofi. His skills and experience give him all the assets he needs to accelerate growth and lead the group's adaptation to new strategic challenges, particularly in the areas of research and development and digital."
Citi analysts said the market should react positively to Mr. Hudson's appointment "given [his] operational track record at both AstraZeneca and Novartis, and in light of some of the names previously cited by the French press as candidates for the role."
In a separate statement, Novartis said it named Marie-France Tschudin as president of the company's pharmaceuticals unit.
Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said: "I am pleased that Marie-France Tschudin is ready to take over from Paul Hudson to further grow the business and lead the expected upcoming launches of our transformative medicines."
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 07, 2019 02:08 ET (06:08 GMT)
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