REPORT: Takeda COO Weber approached for vacant Sanofi CEO post
- Reuters reports that Takeda Pharmaceuticals COO Christophe Weber has been approached by Sanofi to fill the latter company's vacant CEO position.
- But Weber is reportedly not interested in the role, telling Reuters that he is "committed to Takeda" and "not the kind of guy who would jump like that."
- The Sanofi board of directors fired former CEO Chris Viehbacher for ineffective leadership amid flagging financial performance last fall. After his firing, a former Sanofi paralegal named Diane Ponte sued the company for wrongful termination and alleged that Viehbacher had been involved in paying out $34 million in kickbacks and cooking the firm's books.
It appears that Sanofi's path to a new chief executive will not run through Takeda. "I just arrived and I'm not the kind of guy who would jump like that," said Weber in an interview with Reuters during the World Economic Forum in Davos. "It's a unique opportunity at Takeda and I'm very committed to it."
Sanofi has reportedly also reached out to AstraZeneca's Pascal Soriot (who also turned down the offer) and is considering big names like former Wyeth CEO Bernard Poussot and outgoing UCB SA CEO Roch Doliveux.
In the meantime, the company is focusing on a bevy of big drug launches this year and in 2016. Sanofi EVP Pascale Witz told BioPharma Dive during an exclusive interview at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco last week that installing a permanent CEO isn't a make-or-break objective for the pharma giant at this time. "We are at a period where it's not as if we have big, big strategic decisions to make just right now," said Witz.
- Reuters Takeda's Weber was approached for Sanofi CEO job but not interested
- BioPharma Dive With Viehbacher gone, who will be the next Sanofi chief?
- BioPharma Dive Whistleblower: Sanofi, ex-CEO Viehbacher paid out $34M in kickback scheme
- BioPharma Dive EXCLUSIVE: An interview with Sanofi EVP Pascale Witz at JPM15