In regional shakeup, Novartis' Alcon fires two Asia execs

Two key executives of Novartis ($NVS) subsidiary Alcon with responsibility for Asia were fired this week, AsianScientist reported, after confirming the action with the parent company.

Roy Acosta, Asia & Russia region president, and Jim West, Asia & Russia chief financial officer, of global medical company Alcon were fired on June 10, AsianScientist said, noting that Novartis declined to discuss the reasons for the move.

In an email response, Novartis confirmed to FiercePharmaAsia that the two executives had left the company.

"Novartis can confirm that Roy Acosta, region president, Asia & Russia, and Jim West, chief financial officer, Asia & Russia, will be leaving the company after 25 years of service, respectively," a company spokesman said in an email to FiercePharmaAsia.

Eric Van Oppens, who is currently head of the Asia cluster for Novartis Pharma, will replace Acosta as Asia & Russia region president at Alcon, effective July 1, the spokesman said.

Acosta reported directly to Jeff George, head of Alcon and member of the executive committee of Swiss-based Novartis.

Alcon, which makes sterile eye care products and operates out of Fort Worth, Texas, is the second-largest division of Novartis; it was bought in 2011 for $51.9 billion.

AsianScientist said that Acosta joined Alcon in 1989 and has held various leadership positions within U.S. and International Operations, citing his biography on the company's website.

Alcon faced accusations in 2013 of diverting funds meant for postmarketing surveys to bribe doctors in China.

Novartis faced sales sanctions and investigations by regulators last year in Japan over failure to report serious side effects during clinical trials as well as complaints that sales officials had an indirect role in managing data.

AsianScientist said a spokesman for Novartis Media Relations in Singapore also confirmed that Acosta and West were let go last week.

- here's the story from AsianScientist