Novo Nordisk's head of North American operations resigns

Novo Nordisk announced Wednesday that Jakob Riis, head of the company's operations in North America, has resigned from his position. The drugmaker noted that Doug Langa, who currently serves as senior vice president for market access, has been appointed as Riis' successor.

Riis was named as head of operations in North America in September last year, having joined the company in 1996. "Investors had confidence in Jakob Riis, so I think this will be received negatively by the market," commented Jyske Bank analyst Frank Horning Andersen.

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The move comes after Novo Nordisk revised down its annual guidance in February, citing price pressure and political uncertainty in the US. "Given the evolving payer pressures faced by the company over insulin pricing in the [US], Jakob's departure after such a short period of time may raise some eyebrows," Jefferies analysts noted.

Göran Ando, chairman of Novo Nordisk's board, said "we are of course sad to see Jakob Riis leave. He has done a great job throughout his career." Ando added that Langa's "experience in the US pharmaceutical market, his leadership skills and expertise in the area of market access make him the natural successor."

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