Novartis says three executives to leave after GSK, Lilly deals

By Reuters

Oct 08, 2014 06:52 AM EDT

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) said three members of its executive committee would leave the company following the completion of transactions with GlaxoSmithKline(GSK.L) and Eli Lilly (LLY.N) to divest three units.

Novartis agreed on a series of deals worth over $25 billion in April, which include hiving off three smaller units - animal health, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and vaccines. It said these divisions lacked the global scale to compete in what it described as a "brutal" new world of healthcare spending.

As part of the overhaul, Novartis is selling its animal health business to Eli Lilly (LLY.N) for $5.4 billion and its vaccines excluding flu to GSK for $7.1 billion. It will also form a joint venture with GSK for its OTC unit.

Last week, EU antitrust regulators approved Lilly's purchase of the animal health division.

On Wednesday, Novartis said the head of that unit George Gunn, who will reach retirement age next July, will leave the executive committee once the deal is concluded in the first quarter of next year.

Brian McNamara, who currently heads Novartis' OTC division, will move to GSK and become head of Americas and Europe for the consumer health business on completion of the GSK deal, while Andrin Oswald, division head of Novartis Vaccines, will leave the company.

Novartis expects its transaction with GSK to close in the first half of next year.

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