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EXCLUSIVE-French drugmaker Sanofi poised to appoint Novartis' Paul Hudson as next CEO

Matthias Blamont

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PARIS, June 7 (Reuters) - Sanofi is poised to appoint Paul Hudson, a top executive with Switzerland's Novartis , to become the French drugmaker's next CEO from Sept. 1, a source familiar with the decision told Reuters on Thursday.

Current Sanofi SA CEO Olivier Brandicourt will leave the company to retire, said the source, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

"Hudson has been chosen because of his reputation. He is known as a solid manager and has an expertise in digital relating to pharmaceuticals," the source said.

A spokeswoman with Sanofi had no comment.

Officials at Novartis AG could not be reached for comment.

Reuters had reported on March 18 Sanofi was working to find a successor to Brandicourt.

Hudson, born in 1967 according to Novartis' website, has been CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals unit since 2016. He is a member of Novartis' executive committee.

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)