Sanofi brings Japan exec to U.S. to fill empty pharma chief's shoes

Jez Moulding

Sanofi has a new North American chief. The French drugmaker has slotted Jez Moulding into the slot Anne Whitaker suddenly vacated a few weeks ago. He'll head up the North American pharma business after serving as SVP of the company's Japan and Pacific operations.

Whitaker joined Sanofi ($SNY) three years ago from GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and brainstormed the company's plans to "move beyond the molecule" into devices and services, particularly in diabetes. She headed for the exit early this month; according to a company memo, she left for "another opportunity." She since has surfaced as CEO at Synta Pharmaceuticals ($SNTA), a development-stage company whose lead candidate, ganetespib, has been struggling through its pipeline.

Moulding has been hopping around Sanofi's global operations, with stints in the U.K., Europe, South Africa, Korea, Australia and, most recently, Japan. In his new role, he'll be supervising Sanofi's commercial pharma operations, covering everything from diabetes and cardiovascular drugs to specialty care and consumer health.

"Jez brings 20 years of valuable experience to North America Pharmaceuticals that he gained within complex and dynamic markets," Peter Guenter, EVP of global commercial operations, said in a statement. "This experience will serve him well in the evolving U.S. and Canadian healthcare environments."

- see the release from Sanofi

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