Brandicourt's departure piles on the exec shuffling at Bayer

With the hire of Bayer's Olivier Brandicourt as its new CEO, Sanofi ($SNY) will fill the hole it created when it ousted helmsman Chris Viehbacher nearly four months ago. But that means another leadership change is afoot at Brandicourt's current company, which is already in the middle of plenty of shuffling at the top.

Werner Baumann

Bayer boardmember and former CEO Werner Baumann will take over the chairman's position at Bayer HealthCare in Brandicourt's stead, the German pharma said Thursday, with the move effective April 2. In that role, he'll be tasked with realigning the healthcare business, which as of last week is on track to merge with Bayer's CropScience division by 2016.

It's one of many changes ahead for the company, which will fuse the two units into one life-science-focused company once it hives off its plastics business--a move it'll make by mid-2016 at the latest, it figures. HealthCare and CropScience currently have their own management teams, meaning a new org chart is in order, and Bayer expects to have that out by the beginning of next year.

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers

And as if 2016 didn't already sound exciting enough, that's the year company skipper Marijn Dekkers plans to step aside, too, he announced last June.

Luckily for Bayer, its HealthCare division has been putting up powerhouse numbers lately, and the company is counting on it to withstand the executive musical chairs. Its newer pharma products in particular have been making waves, with clot-fighter Xarelto and eye drug Eylea leading a group of 5 high-growth meds that have forced Dekkers to hike his pharma sales forecasts more than a couple of times.

Baumann will need those therapies to keep on kicking if he wants to pick up where Brandicourt left off. In last year's third quarter, Brandicourt guided pharma sales to growth of 10.3% over the year-ago period--the same quarter he left Pfizer ($PFE) to pick up the Bayer HealthCare reins.

- read Bayer's release

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