Sanofi strategy exec Mansuri jumps ship ahead of new CEO's big reveal

Muzammil Mansuri, Sanofi's strategy and business development head since 2016, is retiring at the end of the month. (Sanofi)

New Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson is days away from unveiling his plans for the French drugmaker, but the company's top strategy executive won't wait that long to leave.

Muzammil Mansuri, Sanofi’s executive vice president of strategy and business development since February 2016, will retire by the end of the month, a spokeswoman confirmed. Reuters first reported the departure Friday morning. 

Mansuri has played a “key role” in Sanofi’s strategic moves over the last four years, overseeing recent acquisitions and “structuring partnerships and alliances that contributed to the deployment of our strategy and growth,” Sanofi’s spokeswoman said. The retirement had been planned, she added.

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Sanofi’s recent acquisitions include two wrapped up last year: the hemophilia-focused Bioverativ for $11.6 billion and nanobody biotech Ablynx for $4.8 billion. The moves were designed to reduce the drugmaker's reliance on diabetes and cardiovascular meds, which have been struggling against pricing pressure and stepped-up competition for several years.

With Mansuri's departure, Sanofi said Alban de La Sablière, its business development head, and Laurent Van Lerberghe, its strategy head, will take on more responsibilities starting Dec. 1. 

RELATED: Sanofi CEO's strategy blueprint may include consumer health spinoff or merger: Bloomberg 

The news comes a few months into Hudson’s tenure and ahead of an investor event Dec. 10 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since he joined Sanofi from Novartis at the beginning of September, Hudson has been touring Sanofi’s facilities to learn as much about the company as possible.

He’s also been reviewing each of the company’s divisions, and Bloomberg reported this week the drugmaker is considering a sale or spinoff of its consumer healthcare business. The group brings in $5 billion annually.

Mansuri joined Sanofi from Gilead Sciences and had prior experience at Bristol-Myers, CGI Pharmaceuticals and Shell Research Limited. 

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