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Pharmaceutical giant in upheavals – Novartis' new head is losing time – News



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Vas Narasimhan is in power for one year: the 42-year-old American quickly renewed the group. Meeting in Basel.

On February 1, 2018, Vasi Narasiman managed to move to Basel headquarters on the campus of the pharmaceutical company. Where: He proved to be a noble unique office with prestige. Instead, he decided to continue to cooperate with others in the open plan.

With this, Narasiman has already made it clear on his first day of work as a boss: Novartis needs to change a lot. According to him, it does so. The only 42-year corporate leader says that corporate culture has been massively improved: employees are "entrepreneurial", independent on the road. He calls the new corporate culture "no boss" – without a "boss".

Focus on high-tech drugs

Corporate culture is one thing. The company is structuring the other. An Indian with Indian roots accelerates the restructuring of enterprises at a rapid pace. He calculated that last year, Novartis bought or sold 50 billion pieces of parts of the company.

"Everything will make Novartis more focused on the high-tech drug business," Narasiman says. For example, he bought a company worth nearly $ 9 billion to develop genetic therapies, personalized treatments for serious illness. Such immunotherapy is promising and may soon revolutionize the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

In return, Narasiman sold the business with simple drugs without supervision. And Alcon – a daughter, an ophthalmic producer – will soon be separated as an independent company.

The great goal of the pharmaceutical director: Novartis should become more profitable. He also moves entire departments to other countries and reduces jobs – more than 2,000 in Switzerland. This shattered the workforce quite confused.

Considerably less pay than its predecessors

These are major plans implemented by the dynamic CEO. At the same time, he allows himself to go: he usually leaves the tie in the closet at home, and the classic dark suit. Even if he – as in today's presentation of business figures – is in the focus of the media.

Narasiman earns significantly less than his predecessors. It looks relaxed, accessible, and still resolved. He says: "We have many plans. Now, we also need to deliver results, continuously, every year."

Cover your sleeves

But research on high-tech drugs is risky. And in the most important market – the United States – a heated debate over the high prices of medicines has also flared up. Quick prices there, Novartis can publish, fell in the last year.

And, according to Narasiman, they are likely to continue to fall in the current year. His strategy: "Rolling our sleeves in 2019 and implementing what we started in 2018". He says – well aware that shareholders will judge him not with his promises, but with his results.


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