Why did Novo's supposed CEO-in-waiting suddenly leave the firm?
- Kare Schultz, who was most recently president and COO at Novo Nordisk, was expected to become CEO. But during Novo's most recent earnings announcement, the company said Schultz would be leaving the company as part of an executive shuffle, FiercePharma reports.
- The current CEO, Lars Sørensen, is scheduled to leave in 2019.
- Novo had a really solid first quarter, with a 73% increase in earnings and a 22% increase in profits, excluding partial divestment of its IT subsidiary.
For Novo Nordisk, the news surrounding the first quarter was mainly positive, with major increases in Novo's diabetes drugs, including Victoza and Levemir. Nonetheless, Schulz has decided to leave, which has put the Novo board in the position of reshuffling its management to add more people to its executive committee.
One person who will be added to the committee is U.S. commercial chief, Jesper Hoiland, though it's not clear at the moment if he, or any of the other committee members, will be next in line for the CEO position.
Sørensen offered this by way of explanation for Schultz's departure during the earnings call, according to Reuters: "It's been no secret that Mr Schultz had been looking forward to assuming my position. The board decided it wanted to have greater visibility on our corporate launches in key markets. As a consequence, the COO job disappeared."