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Shifts in Roche's Top Brass

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Switzerland-based Roche (RHHBY - Free Report) recently announced a few changes in its Corporate Executive Committee. 

John C. Reed will now head the Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) division at Roche as the current ad interim head at pRED, Mike Burgess, will quit Roche. 
Reed will also become a member of the expanded Corporate Executive Committee. He will take over Burgess's position on April 2, 2013 in Basel and report to Severin Schwan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Roche Group. 
Reed is a world renowned scientist with a focus on cancer, neuroprotection, autoimmunity, and other diseases. He has led the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, California. 
Inventing more than 100 patents, Reed is a veteran in the pharma industry. He has been a member of multiple scientific journal editorial boards along with founding and co-founding a number of biotechnology companies.
Given his sound background in pharma, Roche expects Reed’s appointment as the head of pRED to propel Roche’s strategy of translating an improved understanding of disease mechanisms into promising therapeutics. 
Meanwhile, the change of helm at pRED is not expected to affect  the other research division – The Genentech Research and Early Development organization (gRED).
We note that Roche announced a few changes in its Corporate Executive Committee in Aug 2012 as well. 
Daniel O’Day was appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Roche Pharma effective Sep 1, 2012. He succeeded Pascal Soriot, who quit Roche to join AstraZeneca ((AZN - Free Report) ). O’Day has been with Roche since 1987 and has been quite instrumental in building up synchronization between the two divisions – pharma and diagnostics.
Prior to being appointed the COO of Roche Pharma, O’Day was the COO of Roche Diagnostics. O’Day was succeeded in that role by Roland Diggelmann, head of the Asia-Pacific Region within Roche Diagnostics. 
Currently, Roche expects total revenue as well as revenue from the Pharmaceuticals unit to grow in the low-to-mid single digits in 2012. Sales from the other division, Diagnostics is expected to outperform the market in 2012. 
We currently have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) on Roche. Pharma stocks that currently look more attractive include Novartis ((NVS - Free Report) ) and Sanofi ((SNY - Free Report) ). Both companies carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).  

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