Bayer taps Novartis exec as new CEO, board chair

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Jörg Reinhardt, MD, has been appointed as CEO and chairman of the board of management of Bayer HealthCare, effective Aug. 15.

The 54-year-old German national was latterly chief operating officer (COO) of Novartis, located in Basel, Switzerland.

Current Bayer CEO Arthur J. Higgins will leave the company as planned on April 30 at his own request. Marijn Dekkers, MD, member of the Bayer’s board of management and its designated chairman, will additionally take over as head of Bayer on a temporary basis as planned from May 1 until Reinhardt's appointment takes effect.

After Novartis was formed in 1996, Reinhardt served as head of preclinical development and project management before being appointed global head of development in 1999. In this capacity, he was responsible for clinical, pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnological development, drug safety testing and regulatory affairs. In 2005, he was appointed CEO of the vaccines and diagnostics division in San Francisco/Boston. In 2008, Reinhardt returned to Switzerland to become COO of Novartis, a position he held until the end of January. In this capacity Reinhardt was responsible for four of the group's divisions, as well as for human resources, IT, corporate affairs and communications. He also was a member of the company's executive committee.