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Novartis's Jimenez stepping down, Narasimhan named new CEO

Key Points
  • Chief drug developer Vasant Narasimhan will take over as CEO starting in February
  • Jimenez is stepping down following a decade at Novartis
Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez to retire in 2018

Novartis Chief Executive Joseph Jimenez will retire in 2018, with chief drug developer Vasant Narasimhan taking over as CEO starting in February, the Swiss drugmaker said on Monday.

Jimenez is stepping down following a decade at Novartis after having successfully secured U.S. approval for a new gene therapy for leukemia last week but before Novartis returned to sales growth, which the company has forecast will resume in 2018.

Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis.
Mark Neuling | CNBC

"After 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the United States," said Jimenez, a Stanford University graduate.

Jimenez arrived in 2007 to lead Novartis's consumer health division and rose to CEO in 2010.

Novartis CEO's decision to step down ‘very sensible,’ analyst says