Novartis AG CEO Resigns Suddenly

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The CEO of Novarti AG has suddenly resigned. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Jimenez has been leading the company for the past eight years and now the job will go to Vasant Narasimhan, 41, a Harvard-trained doctor.

Narasimhan is the chief medical officer and global head of drug development at the Basel, Switzerland-based company. He will take over on February 1st according to a company statement made on Monday.

Jimenez 57, said he will return to Silicon Valley with his family. He has spent ten years in Switzerland.

“I’ve been CEO for eight years and I’ve been pretty public about the fact that I didn’t think a CEO should stay much longer
than that,” Jimenez remarked.

“You come in, you see what you want to change, you change it, and then it’s time to pass it on to a successor.”

Analyst Vincent Meunier of Morgan Stanley in London wrote in a note to clients that Narasimhan “is highly regarded as chief medical officer and has had increasing exposure to investors over the past few quarters and company events.”

“We believe that Vas Narasimhan will bring the skills and leadership to tackle Novartis’ challenges.”

Disclaimer: We have no position in Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE: NVS) and have not been compensated for this article.