Bayer drafts Otsuka exec to lead pharma biz to big growth

Andreas Fibig

Bayer's pharma division has a new president with a big task ahead of him. A week after the company announced its current leader, Andreas Fibig, would jump ship, Bayer says it's chosen an Otsuka Pharmaceutical executive to take the post.

Dieter Weinand, 53, is currently president of global commercialization for Japan-based Otsuka. Based in Princeton, NJ, Weinand will join Bayer Aug. 1 as president of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and a member of the Bayer HealthCare executive committee.

Weinand faces high expectations, because Bayer's pharma business has been the fastest-growing in the entire company, helping to support softness in other areas. Plus, the company is in the midst of building up or rolling out key new products--such as the pulmonary arterial hypertension treatment Adempas and the radiotherapy Xofigo--that Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers is counting on to add billions to the company's top line.

The 5 products Dekkers keeps touting are expected to account for €2.8 billion in 2014 sales--and to fuel 8% annual growth at the pharma unit through 2016. The company said it's expecting at least €7.5 billion, or $10.3 billion, in annual sales from the five drugs.

Dieter Weinand

Good thing Weinand has years of experience with commercial ops in emerging as well as mature markets, and has overseen product marketing in everything from cardiology to oncology to dermatology. "Based on his extensive commercial experience ... Dieter Weinand will drive the growth of our pharmaceutical business further and maximize the value of our product portfolio," Bayer HeatlhCare CEO Olivier Brandicourt said in a statement.

Weinand's appointment follows a spate of executive musical chairs at Bayer. Joerg Reinhardt, who'd been CEO of Bayer HealthCare, left to be chairman at Novartis ($NVS); Brandicourt said goodbye to his Pfizer ($PFE) job to take Reinhardt's place. Fibig said last week he'd leave in August, and just yesterday, Dekkers announced his intent to step down at the end of 2016. CFO Werner Baumann was promoted to lead strategy at the company for "continuity" reasons, presumably as a potential replacement for Dekkers.

- see the statement from Bayer

Special Reports: The top 10 pharma companies by 2013 revenue - Bayer HealthCare | Top 10 Drugmakers in Emerging Markets - Bayer HealthCare