Cold war takes hold in Sanofi boardroom

martes 28 de octubre de 2014 13:16 GYT

* Relations very frosty between CEO and chairman

* Viehbacher unable to claim he has board's support

* Tensions fired up around mature products review

By Natalie Huet, Noëlle Mennella and Gwénaëlle Barzic

PARIS, Oct 28 (Reuters) - The boss of drugmaker Sanofi Chris Viehbacher could not say on Tuesday if he had the support of his board and confirmed to Reuters that his chairman declined to clarify his future during a meeting the previous day.

When Chief Executive Viehbacher asked about his position at the helm of France's second-biggest listed company, Chairman Serge Weinberg curtly dismissed the subject, saying it was "not on the agenda," according to several sources close to Sanofi board members who spoke of an increasingly frosty relationship between the two men.

Viehbacher confirmed Weinberg's words to Reuters in a telephone interview.

The CEO has transformed a very French drug company by making it much more international in outlook, winning the praise of many analysts and investors, but raising some hackles in Paris.

Sanofi's shares fell more than 10 percent on Tuesday, their biggest drop in 17 years, after the company warned its key diabetes business would probably not grow next year and as uncertainty over Viehbacher's role - which first surfaced on Monday - rattled investors.   Continuación...