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Savient appoints Louis Ferrari to CEO as job cuts announced

Gout drug specialist says 35 per cent of workforce will go

Louis Ferrari - SavientSavient Pharmaceuticals has promoted executive VP, president North American commercial operations Louis Ferrari (pictured) to the role of president and CEO the same day it announced it plans to cut 35 per cent of its workforce.

Taking over immediately from interim CEO David Norton, Ferrari will lead the US biopharma's plans to reduce its field force to consist of 35 key account managers and three regional business directors by September, 2012.

It is expected these cuts will generate about $56m in annual operating expense savings by 2013, although Savient will take a hit of $4.7m in restructuring and employee severance charges.

“On behalf of the entire board and management team, we sincerely regret having to make the difficult decision to reduce our workforce and want to thank the affected employees for their contributions," said the company's chair Stephen Jaeger.

"However, given the current environment, these actions are necessary to align Savient's costs with the market to best position the Company going forward."

New CEO Ferrari has been at Savient since 2011, and has already played a major role in the company's ongoing commercialisation of gout drug Krystexxa (pegloticase).

He has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including product launches, product development, international marketing, sales management, sales training and clinical trials.

Prior to joining Savient, Ferrari served at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as VP of oncology and nephrology, sales and marketing. He has also served on the management board of both Ortho Biotech and Centocor.

He said: "I am honoured to be given the opportunity to take on the role of President and CEO of Savient during this critical time in the company's history.”

10th July 2012


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