USA—Novartis, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical corporation based in Basel, Switzerland, has proposed the appointment of Giovanni Caforio as the next chairman of the board.

Caforio, the former CEO of Bristol Myers Squibb who left the company last November and was replaced by Chris Boerner.

He will succeed Joerg Reinhardt, who has been chair since 2013 and wants to retire at the end of his 12-year tenure in 2025.

The announcement of the planned succession was made on Tuesday alongside first-quarter earnings that surpassed Wall Street forecasts.

However, Caforio’s appointment will be subject to approval by Novartis’ shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting.

Caforio spent two decades at Bristol Myers, ascending to the role of CEO in 2015. During his eight-year tenure as chief executive, he oversaw several major acquisitions, including the $74 billion buyout of Celgene, which significantly expanded Bristol Myers’ cancer drug business.

More recently, the company agreed to pay $14 billion to acquire brain drug developer Karuna Therapeutics and its highly anticipated treatment for schizophrenia.

Meanwhile, Reinhardt began his career at Sandoz in 1982, later joining Novartis through the 1996 merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy. He held various executive positions, including chief operating officer and head of Novartis’ vaccines and diagnostics division, before being appointed chairman of the board.

During Reinhardt’s tenure as chair, Novartis underwent significant transformations, including CEO changes and strategic restructuring.

The drugmaker divested its consumer business to GSK for $13 billion in 2018 and spun out its eye care business Alcon.

Novartis also divested its long-held stake in Roche in 2021 and subsequently restructured its workforce and drug pipeline.

 Last year, the company spun out Sandoz, marking the final major step in current CEO Vas Narasimhan’s strategy to focus Novartis on high-margin prescription pharmaceuticals.

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