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Biogen new CEO could be 'just what BIIB needs'

Stock Markets Nov 10, 2022 13:14
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By Sam Boughedda

Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) announced that the former CEO of Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), Christopher Viehbacher, will take over as its President, CEO, and member of the Board of Directors effective on November 14.

Following the announcement, Cowen analysts told investors in a note that although his tenure at Sanofi ended abruptly, a strong CEO personality aligned with shareholders could be "just what BIIB needs," and they are maintaining an Outperform rating on Biogen.

"Biogen's appointment of Christopher Viehbacher as President & CEO brings to Biogen's leadership an experienced biopharma executive who spent years in senior positions at Sanofi and GSK. This is a bold decision. Mr Viehbacher's tenure at Sanofi was notable for a number of successful strategic decisions, his desire to change Sanofi, and his clashes with Sanofi's board that ultimately led to his removal in 2014," wrote the analysts. "Thus, the appointment is not without its risks. However, Biogen's board has structured Mr. Viehbacher's compensation to align the incentives with the interests of shareholders."

Meanwhile, Stifel analysts, who reiterated a Buy rating on Biogen, stated they're "not exactly sure what to make of this hire, though it's a little surprising."

"On the one hand he has extensive industry experience, including running Sanofi for six years; while on the other he has spent the better part of the last decade as an investor," commented the analysts. "A common speculation may be that this could bring more BD onto the table for BIIB (Sanofi acquired Genzyme during his tenure there), but one has to also consider Biogen's historically conservative board."

Biogen new CEO could be 'just what BIIB needs'
 

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