So long Serge

So long Serge

Yes its official Oliver Brandicourt is the new CEO at that soap opera known as Sanofi (NYSE:SNY). Just moments ago the company issued a press release which stated; “The Board of Directors unanimously appointed Olivier Brandicourt as Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi.

Olivier Brandicourt has 28 years of global experience in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer HealthCare AG and member of the Executive Council of Bayer AG. Previously, Brandicourt held numerous positions of increasing responsibility within major global pharmaceutical groups, such as Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert and Pfizer. Notably, Brandicourt served as a member of Pfizer’s global Executive Leadership Team from 2010 – 2013.”

Now what everyone wants to know is what he will do, when Diabetic Investor actually thinks a better question is what the board will allow him to do. A great deal of the friction that lead to the lack of communication between the ex-CEO Chris Viehbacher and the board is the board didn’t like the fact Viehbacher wanted to run Sanofi like a major pharmaceutical company while the board wanted to please the many constituencies in France. These polar opposite of goals combined with the whistleblower lawsuit lead the board to can Viehbacher.

So what exactly will the board allow Brandicourt to do, will they allow him to make the tough decisions or will he be a mere puppet of what the board wants to do, which seems to be keeping the French happy.  Keep in mind that Brandicourt, the fine gentleman that he is, was not the board’s first choice, heck he wasn’t even their fourth choice as Diabetic Investor has confirmed that four other candidates spurned Sanofi’s overtures, not exactly a good sign.

The next question at least from a diabetes perspective is what Brandicourt learned from his time overseeing Bayer’s now for sale diabetes device unit and his time at Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) when he was responsible for the $4 billion Exubera failure. Does he understand the depths of Sanofi’s problems with this franchise? Is he willing to see things as they really are or will he delude himself into believing that a bunch of me-too late to market not all that special compounds will save the day? Does he have the charisma to win over a demoralized sales force?

Needless to say he has his hands full. So as become our custom here at Diabetic Investor Brandicourt will get a hall pass for a while as he gets his feet wet and learns the lay of the land. Time and more importantly his actions will tell us whether he’s a possible Wacky award winner or the real deal.

In closing we’d be remiss if we did not thank Serge Weinberg for providing some of the best copy ever. And look on the bright side Serge you can now come to Chicago and accept your Wacky Award in person but pack your long undies it’s pretty darn cold here.