(PRESS RELEASE) BASEL, 15-Mar-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — Sandoz’s current Region Head Europe Francesco Balestrieri has just been appointed ad-interim CEO of Sandoz reporting directly to Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis. The change is made as the current CEO of Sandoz, a Novartis division, Richard Francis has decided to step down. He is also no longer going to be a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis as well. The changes will be in effect as of March 31, 2019.
During Richard Francis’ tenure Sandoz expanded the access to medicines across the world and reached millions of patients, has successfully launched five biosimilar products and the company has as well initiated a significant transformation.
The newly appointed ad-interim CEO of Sandoz Francesco Balestrieri has spent 25 years working for Novartis and brings a deep understanding of the global Generics business and the company’s full value chain. He ran the commercial operations in Generics over the past eight years and most recently as Region Head Sandoz Europe. Sandoz Europe represents half of the Sandoz’ global sales and organization.
Francesco Balestrieri held various leadership positions at Ciba Vision including as Head of Ciba Vision US prior to joining Sandoz, he holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Venice.
Commenting on Richard Francis resignation, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said:
“I would like to thank Richard for his strong leadership of Sandoz over the past five years. During his tenure, Sandoz has consolidated its position as a global leader in Biosimilars and he and his team have successfully navigated the business through changing market dynamics and challenging headwinds in the US. Now, as we initiate a multi-year transformation program for the business and move to make it more autonomous, Richard has decided that for personal reasons he cannot commit to stay with Sandoz until the transformation is completed. I understand his decision and wish him the very best for the future.”
“I would like to thank Francesco for stepping up to take on this role. His leadership approach and business experience will be of great importance as we continue the Sandoz transformation.”
Richard Francis on his decision to step down:
“The past five years have been immensely satisfying and rewarding. I am very proud of what we have achieved as a team. Together, we have expanded access to medicines across the world and reached many millions of patients. In particular, we have successfully launched five biosimilar products. As we announced earlier this year, Sandoz is embarking on a significant transformation. While I am excited by this, I realize that this is a multi-year journey which I cannot commit to and therefore have decided that now is the right time to step down.”
Novartis re-imagines the medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. The company relies on innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. Novartis employs some 130 000 people of nearly 150 nationalities around the world and had reached to more than 800 million people globally with its products.