Deputy CEO to leave Novo Nordisk

The man who was seen as the eventual successor to CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen has announced his departure from the Danish-based diabetes group.

Photo: Cecilie Smetana/Polfoto/Arkiv

Speculation about who will succeed Lars Rebien Sørensen as Chief Executive Officer of Novo Nordisk is set to pick up pace once again.

In connection with the publication of the company’s quarterly results, Novo announces that deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer Kåre Schultz who has been seen as the lieutenant and eventual successor to Lars Rebien will leave the company.

The diabetes group also reveals that Lars Rebien will remain in charge of the company until his contract expires in 2019 – more or less.

“Novo Nordisk reorganises its Executive Management, elevating the leaders of the commercial activities in the US, Europe and International Operations and of Product Supply to Executive Management. Kåre Schultz, president and COO, leaves Novo Nordisk,” the company notes rather laconically.

Larger group management

Further down in the quarterly statement, Novo Nordisk elaborates on the changes and the reason for Kåre Schultz’ decision to leave.

“As the company is preparing for global launches of several key products, the Board of Directors has decided to elevate the leaders of the commercial activities in the US, Europe and International Operations and of Product Supply to Executive Management. This change will enhance the board’s visibility of Novo Nordisk’s international business operations and support the further development of key leadership talents,” the company writes, adding:

“The Board of Directors has furthermore decided that CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen should remain in his role until he approaches the end of his contract, which expires in 2019. As a result of the changes, Kåre Schultz, president and COO, has decided to leave Novo Nordisk with immediate effect.”

The changes mean the group management of Novo Nordisk will be markedly larger going forward. With the departure of Kåre Schultz it swells from six to nine people.

As of today, Novo Nordisk’s group management will be comprised of the following executives:

• Lars Rebien Sørensen, president, chief executive officer

• Jesper Brandgaard, EVP, chief financial officer

• Maziar Mike Doustdar, EVP, International Operations

• Jerzy Gruhn, EVP, Europe

• Jesper Høiland, EVP, US

• Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, EVP, Corporate Development

• Jakob Riis, EVP, China, Pacific & Marketing

• Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, EVP, chief science officer

• Henrik Wulff, EVP, Product Supply

There is also a suggestion that Jakob Riis is now being positioned as the eventual successor to Lars Rebien instead of Kåre Schultz, as he sees his area of responsibility increase. He will now take charge of business activities in China, Japan & Korea, Australasia, and Canada.

Here is what Rebien wants to achieve before leaving

Rebien’s hidden agenda

Staff chief to leave Novo Nordisk

Rebien: Novo-workers contribute or they are cast out

- translated by Martin Havtorn Petersen

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