Novartis appoints Jeff George as Division Head, Alcon as Kevin Buehler retires; Richard Francis named as new Division Head, Sandoz

Posted: 9 April 2014 | | No comments yet

Novartis announced the appointment of Jeff George as Division Head of Alcon, effective May 1, 2014…


Novartis announced today the appointment of Jeff George as Division Head of Alcon, effective May 1, 2014. Mr. George succeeds Kevin Buehler who is retiring from the company after a distinguished 30-year career at Alcon, the global leader in eye care. As part of the planned transition, Mr. Buehler will provide management and strategic support on the Alcon business. The company thanks Mr. Buehler for his significant contributions to Novartis and Alcon and wishes him the best for the future.

Richard Francis, a proven pharmaceuticals and biotechnology leader, has been appointed as new Division Head of Sandoz, succeeding Mr. George. Mr. Francis joins Novartis from Biogen Idec, where he has held roles of increasing responsibility across several therapeutic areas in both Europe and the United States over his 13-year career with the company.

“The appointments of Jeff George as the new Division Head of Alcon, and of Richard Francis as new Division Head of Sandoz place two strong leaders at the helm of two leading Novartis businesses. These new leaders will set the direction for the next phase of growth for our eye care and generics businesses, two of our core growth engines. Both Jeff and Richard have the vision and expertise to strengthen our market leading positions,” said Joseph Jimenez CEO of Novartis. “I want to thank Kevin Buehler for his strong leadership and contributions to Alcon’s success over the years, and for leading Alcon through the merger and integration with Novartis. He will be missed.”

As Division Head of Alcon, Jeff George will continue to serve as a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN), reporting to Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. Since joining Novartis in January 2007, Mr. George has held leadership positions of increasing importance in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and the Pharmaceuticals Division, becoming Division Head of Sandoz in December 2008. At Sandoz, Mr. George built a best-in-class leadership team and created a winning, high-performance culture. He grew Sandoz sales from $7.5 billion in 2009 to $9.2 billion in 2013, while becoming the global leader in biosimilars with an industry-leading pipeline. He holds an MBA from Harvard University, an MA from Johns Hopkins, and a BA from Carleton College.

As Division Head of Sandoz, Mr. Francis will become a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN), reporting to Joseph Jimenez. He most recently served as Biogen Idec’s Senior Vice President, US Commercial Operations, maximizing both growth and profitability. Mr. Francis previously held leadership roles across commercial and sales in Sanofi and Wyeth. Mr. Francis, a British citizen, graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University.

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