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Abbott loses pharma chief to Pierre Fabre

Olivier Bohuon, president of Abbott's pharmaceutical division, is leaving the company to join Pierre Fabre Group as CEO, effective September 1

Olivier Bohuon, president of Abbott's pharmaceutical division, is leaving the company to return to his native France as chief executive officer at Pierre Fabre Group, effective September 1. He will take over from former GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO, Jean-Pierre Garnier.

Garnier took the reins at Pierre Fabre just two years ago, after retiring from GSK amid criticism from investor groups over the company's weak stock performance. His departure from the French firm was announced last week.

With Bohuon's exit, Abbott loses one of the company's key executives, a pharmacist and MBA who oversaw a division that is responsible for bringing in more than half of the company's annual sales.

Bohuon, who was based in Abbott's Chicago offices, was hired by Abbott as president for European operations in 2003 and was then promoted to president of Abbott International. He joined Abbott from GSK, where he had been director of Commercial Operations, Europe.

The Pierre Fabre Group, which is focused on the dermatology and cosmetic markets, is the second-largest independent French pharmaceutical company, with sales of about €1.8bn. Bohuon will also serve as president of Pierre Fabre Medicament, the pharmaceuticals branch of Pierre Fabre Group, which has been investing heavily in research and development in oncology, psychiatry, urology, cardiovascular health and rheumatology.

Richard A Gonzalez, who was Abbott's president and chief operating officer until his retirement three years ago, will take over Bohoun's duties at Abbott on an interim basis until a replacement is found. Gonzalez has been heading up Abbott Ventures, an investment division at the company, since last year.

6th July 2010

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