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Ousted Sanofi boss finds role at PureTech

Published on 27/02/15 at 03:18pm
Christopher Viehbacher image
Christopher Viehbacher

US science and technology R&D company PureTech has appointed the former Sanofi chief executive Christopher Viehbacher to its board.

Viehbacher had been ejected from his role after the French firm’s board lost patience with his leadership style. He was replaced just last week by Bayer’s Olivier Brandicourt, whose role was filled by Werner Baumann.

Baumann’s position has also found a successor today in Dr Richard Pott who takes over as chairman of Bayer’s MaterialScience unit. We also reported today the news on Bayer confirming Sanofi’s justification for the controversial starter package it is giving to Brandicourt.

But on Viehbacher’s new venture, Dr Robert Langer who is PureTech’s co-founder and senior partner says: "It's has been a pleasure to know Chris for many years and I am very excited that we will be working together more closely now. The PureTech Board is delighted to have him join us and to have access to his insights as our pipeline advances toward commercialisation."

During Viehbacher's six-year tenure at Sanofi it underwent quite a business transformation, most notable of which was the acquisition of Genzyme. Viehbacher served as the chairman of the board of Genzyme in Boston.

Prior to joining Sanofi he spent 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline, which led him to the role of president of GSK's North American pharma division. Viehbacher was also a board member in London and co-president of GSK's portfolio management board. 

He began his career with Price Waterhouse Coopers and qualified as a chartered accountant, and has served as the chairman of the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), as well as president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. 

"It is an honour to join this very dynamic and powerful group of both minds and personalities," says Viehbacher. "PureTech's pipeline of companies is at an exciting inflection point and I think the talent within the management team and board can achieve great things."

Brett Wells

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