Novo Nordisk’s top executive candidate and current company president Kåre Schultz abruptly resigned after spending 26 years at the company.
Jakob Riis, executive vice president for the company’s operations in China, Pacific and Marketing, is considered the most likely successor to exiting CEO Lars Rebien Soerensen.
The search for a new CEO will continue. Soerensen had been planning on retiring before his contract expires in 2019 and the company had been looking at Schultz as a potential replacement. The company named Schultz, who had been serving as chief operating officer, president in December 2014. Giving Schultz the title of president would allow him an “opportunity to develop his leadership skills” during the process of finding a new CEO, according to a company spokesman.
However, in its quarterly filings, the company said Soerensen will remain CEO until “he approaches the end of his contract.”
“As a result of the changes, Kåre Schultz, president and COO, has decided to leave Novo Nordisk with immediate effect,” the company said in a statement. Soerensen said Schultz “played a key role in making Novo Nordisk a successful global company.”