viernes, 19 de febrero de 2010

NOVARTIS: "Green ketchup Joe"

Joe Jimenez says that more
than 20 years selling Clorox bleach and Heinz ketchup taught him to make decisions quickly. Now, as CEO of Novartis , Europe's second-largest drugmaker, he'll try to prove that speed can also make a difference in the pharmaceutical business. Jimenez, 50, is replacing Daniel Vasella, 56, who oversaw the merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy that created Novartis in 1996 and has run the company ever since.


Jimenez, an American with degrees from Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, believes his consumer-products background will help. He started his career at Clorox, the world's largest maker of bleach, ran two divisions of ConAgra Foods , and oversaw H.J. Heinz' European operations. With consumer packaged goods, "Decisions have to be made quickly because the market moves quickly," he says. But pharmaceutical businesses have long development lead times, which "tends to slow decision-making in areas where it doesn't need to."

Jimenez oversaw the introduction of kid-friendly green ketchup when he was Heinz' North America chief executive, says Heinz Chairman and CEO William R. Johnson. In 2002 he moved to Europe, where he overhauled management and cut costs by consolidating factories. He served on the board at AstraZeneca and advised the Blackstone Group before joining Novartis to head consumer health in 2007.


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