Vasella to leave Novartis in August


Veteran pharma executive Danial Vasella has unexpectedly announced his resignation as chair of the board of directors at Novartis after 17 years at the top of the company.

He will not seek re-election in February, paving the way for a new chair from 1 August. His successor will be Jörg Reinhardt, who is currently running the drug division at Bayer. Vice chair Ulrich Lehner will serve in the interim.

Vasella was chief executive from 1996 to 2010 and became chair in 1999. His resignation as chief executive in 2010 came after a string of attacks by militant animal rights activists aimed at him and his family. The incoming chair, Reinhardt, is a scientist by training, with a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences, who climbed the R&D ranks at Sandoz before the merger with Ciba-Geigy that created Novartis. He arrives at a challenging time for Novartis, which is struggling with the expiry of patents for many of its financially important drugs.


Related Content

Business roundup

26 February 2010 Business

news image

Industry news, March 2010

Business roundup

25 August 2009 Business

news image

Industry news, September 2009

Most Read

Antimicrobial resistance will kill 300 million by 2050 without action

16 December 2014 News and Analysis

news image

UK report says resistance will cost global economy $100 trillion

Cutting edge chemistry in 2014

10 December 2014 Research

news image

We take a look back at the year's most interesting chemical science stories

Most Commented

A bad business

19 December 2014 Critical Point

news image

Targets and assessments can boost productivity at universities – but only if they do not stifle creativity and alienate the...

Unusual 2D silica allotrope predicted

25 June 2014 Research

news image

Simulations say graphene-like silica would become thicker when stretched