Sanofi: Q4 earnings beat forecast, new CEO to be named by end of Q1 2015
- Sanofi announced Q4 2014 earnings results on Thursday that beat analyst expectations. According to Reuters, business EPS grew 1.5% year-over-year—a rise driven by exchange rate fluctuations and a weak euro.
- Interim CEO and company chairman Serge Weinberg also told reporters that the company's next permanent chief executive would be named by the end of Q1 2015, meaning an announcement come as soon as the next several weeks.
- Sanofi's Q4 2014 net profit rose 26% compared to the previous year.
"The search for a new CEO is well under way," Weinberg told reporters in a call. The previous CEO, Chris Viehbacher, was fired last year amid flagging revenues and an uncomfortable relationship with the pharma giant's board of directors. Adding to the controversy: A whistleblower suit alleging that Sanofi had cooked its books and that Viehbacher was involved in paying kickbacks to doctors. Law firms are currently searching for plaintiffs in shareholder suit against Sanofi.
But Sanofi has plenty to look forward to in the coming years, and the next CEO will have plenty on his or her plate. The company just launched its intriguing inhaled insulin product Afrezza, and its next-gen insulin glargine Toujeo (successor to the flagship Lantus) is set to launch worldwide this year, as is the exciting blockbuster cholesterol candidate alirocumab. Sanofi's next chief will have to balance the marketing challenges of those products with a year that's expected to bring relatively flat revenues (unless the euro continues to slide).