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Novartis appoints Rob Kowalski as Chief People & Organization Officer


Novartis announced today the appointment of Rob Kowalski, Pharm.D., Global Head Regulatory Affairs, and US Head of Drug Development as Chief People & Organization Officer. He will report to Vas Narasimhan, M.D., CEO of Novartis, and become a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN), effective September 1, 2021.

Currently Chief People & Organization Officer, Steven Baert will step down from the Executive Committee of Novartis, effective June 30, 2021, after 15 years with the company and almost 8 years in the position. Vicki Rawlinson, US Head People & Organization will lead the function ad-interim until Dr. Kowalski takes over.

Dr. Kowalski is a senior drug development and regulatory executive with over 25 years of industry experience. He has successfully built and led Global Regulatory Affairs, a large organization within the Novartis Drug Development with many interfaces into our commercial and R&D organizations on global and local levels. Before his current role, he has served in various leadership roles in the US and Europe. Dr. Kowalski has significant experience in large-scale global transformations and has been highly regarded for his development of key talents, many of whom have moved into senior leadership roles within Novartis. He holds a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US. Dr. Kowalski is a US citizen and, in his future role, will be based in Basel, Switzerland.

“Rob is a strong business and people leader with a proven track record of building and leading global organizations. Based on his Novartis business experience and focus on culture and talent development he will help us to scale our culture change and talent agenda, deliver our People & Organization operating model, and help us to further connect human capital decisions with business strategy,” said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis. “I thank Steven for his invaluable contributions as a leader and advisor to the ECN and Board of Directors. He has driven a cultural and organizational transformation that supports our company’s long-term priorities and purpose and makes us an industry leader in human capital. I wish him the very best for his future.”

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