Sanofi Names David Meeker New CEO of Genzyme, Will Report to Viehbacher

10/24/11Follow @xconomy

Genzyme only had one leader for more than 25 years, and it has found a new one in David Meeker, now that the company is part of Paris-based pharmaceutical giant Sanofi.

Meeker will become the CEO of the Cambridge, MA-based Genzyme unit starting Nov. 1, and will report to Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher, according to a Sanofi statement. Meeker will oversee divisions that work on rare diseases and multiple sclerosis, while other parts of Genzyme’s former business have been integrated into Sanofi’s global operations.

Genzyme, the biotech giant that Henri Termeer led for most of its history, agreed to be acquired by Sanofi in February for about $20 billion after several months of negotiations. The company struggled through manufacturing shortages of a couple of its most important enzyme replacement therapies—Cerezyme and Fabrazyme—before ultimately agreeing to be acquired.

David Meeker

“After working closely with David over the past six months, I am confident that he is the best person to lead Genzyme,” Viehbacher said in a statement.

Meeker, who got his M.D. from the University of Vermont Medical School, joined the company in 1994 as a medical director to work on a cystic fibrosis gene therapy program, according to the Sanofi statement. He worked his way up in the company’s rare disease operations, and oversaw the commercial introductions of Aldurazyme, Fabrazyme, and Myozyme. He became chief operating officer of Genzyme in 2009.

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