How Sanofi got rid of its chief exec

Chris Viehbacher was fired at a dawn board meeting, with the 'mess in Brazil' cited as one of the reasons


CHRIS Viehbacher speaks plainly. "We had somewhat of a mess in Brazil, so that's why I decided to change management," he told financial analysts in August 2013.

Fifteen months later, he has gone the same way as the Brazilian employees he sacked so decisively - fired as chief executive of French drugmaker Sanofi at a dawn board meeting, with the "mess in Brazil" cited as one of the reasons.

Investors were stunned, having hitherto seen the affable German-Canadian as one of the best in the business, despite some setbacks and a tough few years for the drugs industry worldwide.

The whirlwind week began on Oct 27 with a leaked letter to the board, dated Sept 4, in which Mr Viehbacher wrote of rumours...

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to