Profile: Christopher Viehbacher, the smiling killer

Turbulent six-year reign of first non-French CEO st Sanofi listed, Frances second biggest company, ended in sacking

When Christopher Viehbacher, who has just been ousted as chief executive Sanofi, took the job at the French pharamaceutical giant in late 2008, he replaced Gerard Le Fur who was himself pushed out after less than two years at the helm. At the time, there were said to be tensions between Le Fur and the then-chairman Jean-François Dehecq, and main shareholders including cosmetics firm LOréal which pushed for his removal.

Viehbacher, who holds German and Canadian citizenship, had joined Sanofi from GlaxoSmithKline, where he headed up the North American division, after missing out on the top job. He was one of three internal candidates to replace Jean-Pierre Garnier but was beaten to the CEO post by Andrew Witty, then head of the European business.

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Pharmaceuticals industry | The Guardian

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