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Max Nisen

Sanofi’s New CEO Inherits a Sparse Cupboard and Tough Turnaround

Paul Hudson of Novartis is a good choice to take over a growth-challenged company.

The drugmaker's pipeline lags behind those of many of its peers.

The drugmaker's pipeline lags behind those of many of its peers.

Photographer: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

In his four years as chief executive officer of Sanofi, the French pharma giant, Olivier Brandicourt has been unable to convince investors that he can overcome the company’s challenges, and its stock has declined 17.9%. Come September, it will be Paul Hudson’s turn. The Novartis Holding AG pharma head seems like a solid choice for a tough turnaround job. 

Investors have already received Hudson positively, sending shares up 5% in Europe. There’s reason for optimism. While Sanofi’s issues aren’t entirely of Brandicourt’s making, it’s past time for new blood.