- Four senior Sanofi executives, including chief medical and digital officer Ameet Nathwani, will depart as a result of a reshuffling of the French drugmaker's top ranks under new CEO Paul Hudson, the company confirmed to BioPharma Dive Tuesday. Bloomberg first reported the names of the departing executives.
- Also leaving are Dieter Weinand, head of Sanofi's since rebranded primary care division; Kathleen Tregoning, an executive vice president of external affairs; and Dominique Carouge, a Sanofi veteran who was appointed head of business transformation in early 2018.
- With the departures, the executive committee reporting to Hudson will shrink to 10 members from 14, and will reflect Sanofi's more focused corporate organization around specialty care and vaccines. The CDO role will remain, however, as part of the company's top leadership.
Paul Hudson has brought a number of changes to Sanofi since becoming CEO last September. Chief among them were decisions to stop further research in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, long one of the drugmaker's calling cards, and to simplify a partnership with Regeneron.
Like many of its pharma peers, Sanofi's focus moving forward will be on specialty care drugs, most notably in immunology and oncology. The drugmaker now expects annual sales of its flagship asthma and dermatitis medicine Dupixent (dupilumab) to peak at 10 billion euros, or about $11 billion — an ambitious target that would put the drug among the industry's best-sellers.
Sanofi is also hoping to distinguish itself more in oncology, and recently acquired the early-stage biotech Synthorx for $2.5 billion.
Organizationally, Sanofi has reduced the number of "global business units" from five to three, rebranding its primary care group to general medicines and eliminating a separate China and emerging markets unit. Its consumer healthcare division, meanwhile, is being positioned as a standalone business with its own R&D, industrial affairs and support teams.
The reduction in size of Sanofi's executive committee reflects this, and also hints at Hudson's desire to streamline the company's bureaucracy.
"It was quite clear that we wanted to allocate more of our central expertise into our business units and increase the accountability," he said on a recent earnings call, noting too how the chief digital officer role will now stand alone.
"We have done that because I think we are a little bit behind in our agenda on digital understanding and language capability internally," the CEO added.
Hudson has also pledged to reduce costs by $2 billion euros by 2022.
While Nathwani, Tregoning and Weinand were more recent hires by Sanofi, Carouge has been with the company since 1991 and had served as deputy chief financial officer before his appointment to lead business transformation.
Nathwani joined in May 2016 and was appointed to the chief digital officer role in February 2019, adding to the swelling ranks of CDOs at large pharmaceutical companies.
Sanofi's restructuring comes amid broader challenges to which the company hasn't yet found solutions.
Like fellow diabetes drugmakers, it's been crunched by pricing pressures and backlash from lawmakers. The company has also hit road bumps in its planned path to becoming a leader in blood disorders. In particular, the hemophilia drugs it picked up through an $11.6 billion acquisition of Bioverativ are under threat from newer treatments developed by Roche and others.