Jeff George appointed Division Head of Alcon

Novartis has appointed Jeff George division head of Alcon, effective May 1.


Basel, Switzerland-Novartis has appointed Jeff George as division head of Alcon Laboratories, effective May 1.

George-who is currently division head of Sandoz-succeeds Kevin Buehler, who is retiring after a 30-year career at Alcon. As part of the transition, Buehler will provide management and strategic support for the company.

Additionally, Richard Francis-a pharmaceuticals and biotechnology leader-has been appointed the division head of Sandoz, succeeding George. Francis joins Novartis from Biogen Idec, where he has held roles across several therapeutic areas in both Europe and the United States over his 13-year career with the company.

"The appointments of Jeff George as the new division head of Alcon, and of Richard Francis as new division head of Sandoz place two strong leaders at the helm of two leading Novartis businesses,” said Joseph Jimenez, chief executive officer of Novartis. “These new leaders will set the direction for the next phase of growth for our eye care and generics businesses, two of our core growth engines. Both Jeff and Richard have the vision and expertise to strengthen our market leading positions.


“I want to thank Kevin Buehler for his strong leadership and contributions to Alcon's success over the years, and for leading Alcon through the merger and integration with Novartis. He will be missed,” Jimenez continued.

As division head of Alcon, George will continue to serve as a member of the executive committee of Novartis (ECN).

Since joining Novartis in January 2007, George has held leadership positions in the vaccines and diagnostics division and the pharmaceuticals division, and became division head of Sandoz in December 2008. He holds an MBA from Harvard University, an MA from Johns Hopkins, and a BA from Carleton College.

As division head of Sandoz, Francis will become a member of the ECN. He most recently served as Biogen Idec's senior vice president, U.S. commercial operations. Francis previously held leadership roles across commercial and sales in Sanofi and Wyeth. Francis graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University.


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