Sanofi-Aventis (Canada) Appoints Hugh O'Neill as President and CEO

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MONTREAL, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Sanofi-aventis is pleased to announce the appointment of Hugh O'Neill as President and CEO of its Canadian operations. Mr. O'Neill brings with him over 23 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and a new vision for the Canadian operations of sanofi-aventis.

"Sanofi-aventis is prepared to make a fundamental shift in the way we do business in Canada, stepping away from the traditional pharmaceutical model and rethinking our most basic assumptions in order to build a sustainable long-term business model," said Mr. O'Neill.

The cornerstone of Mr. O'Neill's strategy is to motivate employees to challenge the status quo in order to understand customer needs and deliver on those needs. This approach will empower employees to deliver value and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.

According to Mr. O'Neill, "this is an exciting time for employees because they will be encouraged to change their approach, rethink their strategies, change their investments and make tough decisions with the full support of me and the entire organization."

Investing in healthcare

"One of our challenges will be to communicate the strong value of our products. All too often, innovative medicines are seen simply as line-item costs to bear as opposed to investments that will deliver greater savings over time across the entire spend on healthcare," continued Mr. O'Neill.

"For example, if we can identify the appropriate patient for our medications than we are making an investment in the healthcare system that will reduce costs. If in addition we can also identify the inappropriate patient, who never should have been prescribed the medication in the first place, we will also be making an investment in the healthcare system. That's the opportunity."

Strong track record

Mr. O'Neill most recently served as Vice President, Market Access and Business Development, at sanofi-aventis U.S. In this senior leadership position he was responsible for all drug reimbursement matters and worked closely with governments and private insurers. He also led the company's extensive business development activities, acquiring in-depth understanding of North America's biotechnology industry and related sectors.

Mr. O'Neill holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from New Jersey's Montclair State University, as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Seton Hall University, also in New Jersey.

About Sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, the company is developing leading positions in several therapeutic areas: cardiology, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic disorders, the central nervous system, internal medicine and vaccines.

Sanofi-aventis is represented in Canada by the pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis Canada Inc., based in Laval, Quebec, and by the vaccines company Sanofi Pasteur Limited, based in Toronto, Ontario. Together they employ more than 2,000 people across the country. With combined R&D investments of $211.5 million in 2008, they are leaders in Canada's pharmaceutical/biotech sector, a critical knowledge-based industry that generates jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country. For further information: Christian Marcoux, Sanofi-aventis Canada, (514) 956-4275,; Roch Landriault, NATIONAL Public Relations, (514) 843-2345,; Stephanie Lyttle, NATIONAL Public Relations, (514) 843-2365,

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