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Roche chairman steps down

Dr Franz Hummer has stepped down as chairman of Swiss pharma company Roche after giving his final speech during its annual general meeting.

Dr Franz Hummer has stepped down as chairman of Swiss pharma company Roche after giving his final speech during its annual general meeting (AGM).

The announcement was made during the AGM that took place on March 4 as Roche informed its shareholders that it would raise its dividends.

According to information presented to shareholders during the AGM, a successful financial year in 2007 allowed Roche to increase it dividends by 35 per cent, the twenty-first raise in as many years.

Hummer said: "Roche achieved outstanding results in 2007, continuing the extremely positive development of business seen in recent years.

"Significant challenges and opportunities lie ahead in the healthcare market, and we will be able to tackle them with confidence from a position of strength."

Severin Schwan took over as the new CEO and chairman of Roche group during the AGM, which was attended by 662 shareholders.

Schwan outlined how Roche intends to pursue personalised medicine in order to improve the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of its drugs.

Schwan said: "There is no company in the world in a better position to make this approach reality.

"Roche's strategy is unique and we must use it as a basis for successfully advancing the company over the next years," he concluded.

5th March 2008

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