Novartis CEO Narasimhan raids GlaxoSmithKline offices for his new Sandoz chief

Novartis’ Vas Narasimhan has his new Sandoz chief.

The pharma giant reported with its Q1 numbers that they’ve raided GlaxoSmithKline’s senior executive crew for a new CEO to run the company. And they’re bringing back someone who knows the operation well.

Richard Saynor Twitter

Richard Saynor Twitter

Richard Saynor is making the leap from his last post as SVP classic & established products, commercial & digital platforms at a time speculation about the future of Sandoz has been rampant. But he may have some ideas on what can be done better. According to his LinkedIn page, he’s been at GSK for close to 9 years — after jumping over from Sandoz.

Just a few weeks ago Sandoz CEO Richard Francis abruptly tendered his resignation, effective at the end of March, saying he wasn’t ready to sign on for a multi-year effort to transform one of the biggest generics businesses in the world. Generics, though, has been a tough market the last few years, and Novartis’ restless CEO Narasimhan was seen as someone who might prefer to spin it off than see it hamper him or his focus on developing new, important drugs.

On that score, he can look forward to a likely string of new approvals for blockbusters-to-be this year. Sandoz can be Saynor’s headache for awhile.

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