Sacked Sanofi boss joins PureTech board

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2015 10:15 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - Chris Viehbacher, sacked as chief executive of French drugs firm Sanofi last year, is to join the board of PureTech, a privately owned healthcare science and technology R&D company.

Boston-based PureTech's co-founder and senior partner Robert Langer said in a statement he had known the German-Canadian Viehbacher for many years "and I am very excited that we will be working together more closely now".

Viehbacher, who moved to Boston last year while he was still running Sanofi, raised the French company's multinational profile during his six years in the job by completing over $30 billion of acquisitions including that of Boston-based Genzyme.

But he was fired last year after U.S. sales of the company's diabetes drug Lantus faltered and for what Chairman Serge Weinberg called poor communication with the board.

PureTech is a portfolio company that aims to commercialize breakthrough technologies and solve healthcare problems. It raised over $100 million in the past seven months and employs about 50 people.

Sanofi is one of the world's top five drugs firms by annual revenue. It employs 112,000 people and has a market value in excess of $130 million.

(Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by Dominique Vidalon and Pravin Char)