Roche shuffles execs in drugs, diagnostics

Ready for another merger-related management overhaul? You're in luck: Roche has tapped Pascal Soriot to head up its pharmaceuticals division, and taking his place at the helm of the now-wholly-owned Genentech will be Ian Clark. Daniel O'Day, meanwhile, becomes head of Roche's diagnostics division. The changes will go into effect at year's end.

The management changes are aimed to better integrate the newly purchased Genentech into the Swiss-based Roche. Earlier this year Roche managed to buy out the share of Genentech it didn't already own for more than $46 billion, and Soriot has been leading integration efforts. Bill Burns, who held the chief executive title at Roche's pharma division, is retiring, making way for Soriot, who'll carry the COO title.

They're also designed to help link its drugmaking and diagnostics divisions. O'Day will also be a COO, rather than CEO as his predecessor Juergen Schwiezer has been. The title changes appear to indicate that Roche Holding CEO Severin Schwan (photo) will lead the way on weaving the two operations together. "The appointment in diagnostics ... means you really want to forge closer ties between the two units, which has always been Schwan's vision," analyst Karl Heinz Koch of Helvea told Bloomberg.

- see the Bloomberg story
- check out the news from Reuters
- get more on Soriot, also from Reuters

ALSO: In 18 months on the job, Roche CEO Severin Schwan (photo) has sealed the largest acquisition in company history, overseen impressive performance in the teeth of a recession and reinforced the company's position as the most richly valued large drugmaker in the world. Report