Novo Nordisk shrinks executive team as top-ranking woman leaves

Lise Kingo

In a month full of pharma management shake-ups, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has joined the bunch. The Danish drugmaker says it has reorganized its executive team, with EVP Lise Kingo making an exit and her duties divvied up among the company's remaining top execs.

As chief of staff, Kingo handled human resources, corporate communications and what Novo calls "corporate stakeholder engagement," which includes sustainability initiatives, ethics oversight and corporate image making. She's stepping aside after 12 years in that post.

It's not nearly as dramatic as the abrupt departure of Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher late last month, or yesterday's announcement that Lundbeck CEO Ulf Wiinberg was resigning after breaking the company's ethics code. Kingo's exit does take Novo's executive committee down to 6 members from 7. She was also the company's top-ranking woman, with men making up the remainder of the executive team.

EVP Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen will take on the HR and business assurance portion of her job, adding it to quality, IT and business development duties, while Novo's EVP for marketing and medical affairs will take over stakeholder engagement. Corp comm will report to CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen himself.

In announcing Kingo's departure, Sørensen credited her with "driving the company's strategy within sustainable development, corporate branding and public affairs, which earned Novo Nordisk recognition as a respected global business." Kingo said she plans to focus on her board service, which includes directorships at Norway's Grieg Star Group and Steno Diabetes Center of Denmark.

- read the Novo release

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