- Novartis announced Thursday it will add new position to its ranks by creating a chief digital officer "to drive the digital transformation Novartis has embarked upon."
- The position will be filled by Bertrand Bodson on Jan. 1, 2018. Bodson is currently the chief digital and marketing officer for British supermarket Sainsbury Argos.
- Bodson will be responsible for "creating and executing a company-wide digital strategy" in collaboration with the executive committee, the Swiss pharma said.
New technologies have been changing the way the pharmaceutical world works, as digital tools reduce the role of sales forces and patients become more informed by tracking health statistics through apps and wearables.
Due to the highly regulated nature of the industry, pharma has historically been slow to evolve and adopt new technologies. Adopting new engagement tools like Twitter required months of back and forth with the Food and Drug Administration and resulted in plenty of missteps by the industry.
But pharma’s highly innovative nature makes it natural for the industry to incorporate new technologies — however belated.
Novartis’ move echoes a similar decision by GlaxoSmithKline earlier this summer when the British pharma appointed former WalMart exec Karenann Terrell to chief digital and technology officer.
For Novartis, Bodson brings with him a wealth of experience in the online arena. He has previously held senior roles at EMI Music and Amazon, as well as co-founding the social networking site Bragster.com.
"Bertrand has a proven track record of creating and implementing successful digital strategies across global companies, and leading cultural change in order to make this happen at scale," said Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez in a statement. "This is not just about digital helping the business. Bertrand will help us transform our business model using digital technologies."