Sanofi announces changes to its Executive Committee

  • Houman Ashrafian is appointed as Head of Research & Development, starting September 11, 2023.
  • Madeleine Roach is appointed Head of Business Operations, effective October 1, 2023.
  • Emmanuel Frenehard is appointed Chief Digital Officer, effective immediately.
  • Bill Sibold, Head of the Specialty Care GBU will be leaving Sanofi to pursue an external opportunity. Brian Foard will lead the Specialty Care GBU ad interim, effective immediately.

Houman, Madeleine and Emmanuel will report to Sanofi's CEO, Paul Hudson, and will be based in Paris, France. Brian, also reporting to Paul Hudson, will be based in Cambridge, US.

For the past 3 years, Sanofi has reshaped its discovery and development of therapeutics, built a robust pipeline and sharpened its research focus, employing cutting-edge therapeutic platforms and creating a culture that responds to the urgent needs of patients. As Sanofi’s new Head of Research and Development , Houman Ashrafian will be responsible for bolstering the company’s strategy to develop first or best-in-class medicines and growing the momentum of Sanofi’s pipeline in support of its emergence as a science-driven and innovation leader in the industry.

In this newly created role, Madeleine Roach will establish and lead the Business Operations Business Unit bringing together existing business service activities and driving further expansion of centralized services into a global unit with a focus on driving efficiency and productivity to fuel business growth and Sanofi’s investment in science. This new business unit will act as an enabler and operator of best-in-class business support capabilities across the company ensuring optimal cross-functional resource capacity and high-quality support across Sanofi´s full organization.

Emmanuel Frenehard, Chief Digital Officer, will lead Sanofi’s company-wide digital transformation and continue to push forward the company’s digital, data and technology strategy. Building on a solid foundation of digital tools and data, creating business value, developing the acquisition of new skills and promoting a digital and data driven culture, Emmanuel and his teams will notably support Sanofi’s goal to become the first biopharma company powered by artificial intelligence at scale, to accelerate innovation for patients and healthcare professionals.

Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi said, “These new appointments, a healthy mix of internal promotions and a newcomer to Sanofi, bring three highly qualified global leaders with new insights and world-class expertise in their field. I am confident in their capacity to inspire our people, execute and deliver on our strategy and support our ambition to be an innovative, inclusive and scientifically driven leader.”

Houman Ashrafian, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D joins from SV Health Investors where he is Managing Partner of the global private equity and venture capital investment platform which has a special focus on biotechnology, healthcare growth equity, and medtech. He has a robust track record in building high value, successful companies in the healthcare space, that brought transformational medicines from discovery to market: he co-founded and chaired the biotechs Alchemab Therpeutics, Dualitas, Enara Bio, Mestag Therpeutics, Sitryx and Trex Bio. He was also member of the boards of Imbria, Prilenia and Therini Bio. Previously, he was Vice President and head of the Clinical Science Group at UCB with a main focus on precision medicine strategies and early clinical activities across the R&D portfolio. He also co-founded Cardiac Report, a cardiac services company, Heart Metabolics, Catamaran Bio, as well as Weatherden, a boutique clinical consultancy.

Houman is an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford in the U.K. He has received numerous prestigious awards and recognitions over the course of his career, including the Michael Davies Early Career Award from the British Cardiovascular Society and the Schuldham Prize. Houman has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Cambridge (U.K) and a BM BCh and DPhil from the University of Oxford (U.K).

He said, “I am extremely excited to join a company with such an extraordinary and diverse multicultural heritage and an experienced team of drug hunters at such an important inflection point in Sanofi’s ability to generate outsized value for patients. I am fully committed to lead Sanofi’s efforts to create impactful drugs ever mindful of responsibilities to sustainability and global health”.

Madeleine Roach – Executive Vice President, Head of Business Operations joined Sanofi as Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management in 2022 from AstraZeneca, where she was Head of Global Finance Services Asia Pacific and Global Business Services Site Lead in Malaysia, delivering a wide range of top-quality business services to stakeholders across one of the most influential regions of AstraZeneca’s business, further expanding the site with the addition of value-add services and digitalization capabilities, whilst attracting top talent through strong employer branding. She previously held numerous positions in Finance and Global Business Services with growing responsibilities at AstraZeneca, in Germany and the UK. Prior to AstraZeneca, she was a Manager in the Finance Advisory Services practice at KPMG and worked as a consultant in Corporate Tax and Accounting Advisory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Madeleine holds a BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.

Emmanuel Frenehard, Chief Digital Officer joined Sanofi three years ago as Global Head of Digital. He subsequently held the positions of Global Head - Digital GBU teams, Global Head - Digital Products, and has also led Sanofi’s Digital Accelerator and digital commerce initiatives. Prior to Sanofi, Emmanuel spent 20 years leading large global organizations as well as three years in startups. He has built and launched multiple global digital products in support of existing and new business models. In particular, he managed iflix’s explosive adoption across Southeast Asia, and led the launch of DisneyLife, Disney’s direct-to-consumer digital subscription service in the UK.

Dr. Dietmar Berger who has successfully led Sanofi’s R&D team ad-interim over the last few months, will continue to serve as Chief Medical Officer and Global Head of Development contributing to accelerate the development of our enhanced pipeline.

Bill Sibold, EVP, Head of the Specialty Care GBU, will be leaving the company to pursue a new opportunity outside Sanofi. Bill joined Sanofi in 2011 and, since 2017 he has been leading the GBU and building Sanofi’s global leadership in Specialty care, with a focus on immunology, neurology, oncology and rare & rare blood disorders. Sanofi thanks Bill for his great leadership and contributions and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

While an internal and external search has already started to identify Bill’s successor, Brian Foard, currently Head of Specialty Care North America and U.S. Country Lead, will be taking the leadership of the Specialty Care GBU ad interim. With more than 20 years of speciality pharmaceutical experience, Brian joined Sanofi in 2017 and has been driving the successful launch of Dupixent in more than 50 countries across multiple indications and age groups prior to his current role.


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