Sanofi's shortlist of CEO candidates so far has a distinct French accent

Sanofi is putting together a short list of candidates to see who will take Chris Viehbacher's place as the next CEO, and not surprisingly there's a distinct French accent to the names being bounced around just now. Smith & Nephew's Olivier Bohuon, a high-profile French businessman, is back in circulation in Bloomberg's fresh take today. And Takeda's Christophe Weber, the former CEO of GSK-France also makes the list, ironically after running into a considerable amount of flak in Japan for not being sufficiently Japanese. Novartis's Eric Cornut, currently the chief ethics officer but someone who also did a stint as CEO of French division, cited. Cornut got his doctoral degree in Basel. And Bayer's Olivier Brandicourt, chairman of the healthcare executive committee, is a French national with a master's degree in biology from University of Paris. Some analysts have already suspected that the unusual showdown between Sanofi's board and Viehbacher signalled a shift in the company's focus back to France. If that translates into a provincial attitude, though, you can expect a sharp kickback from some longtime observers. Story

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