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Management shakeup continues at Sanofi-Aventis


PARIS Drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA said Wednesday that its top legal and financial officer has stepped down, extending a management shuffle that led to the appointment of a new chief executive, GlaxoSmithKline PLC veteran Chris Viehbacher, Dec. 1.

In the latest change, Sanofi announced the abrupt resignation yesterday of Jean-Claude Leroy, a 23-year company veteran who last served as executive vice president of finance and legal affairs. As of Dec. 10, His replacements are Laurence Debroux, senior vice president and chief financial officer, and Karen Linehan, senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel.

Both have been named to Sanofi-Aventis' executive committee and group management committee, and will report directly to the company’s new CEO, the French-based pharmaceutical firm announced.

Before coming to Sanofi, Viehbacher was president of North American pharmaceutical operations for GSK, and co-chairman of that company’s Portfolio Management Board, which oversees strategic decisions for research and development. At Sanofi, he’s expected to lead efforts to recharge the company’s drug-development pipeline and marketing prowess amid today’s difficult economic climate.

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