According to V-P of global media relations Bob Laverty, Baird left officially on 16 February and has yet to accept a new permanent position. Laverty has stepped into Baird’s job on an interim basis, while Novartis hunts a permanent successor.
Baird oversaw comms for Novartis’s pharma division globally, reporting to Novartis corporate communications chiefs Steve Kelmar and Bob Pearson.
Novartis has emerged as a potential white knight for Aventis, which is battling against Sanofi-Synthalabo’s hostile takeover bid. The move has forced Aventis to look for other possible merger partners, such as Novartis, that might be willing to execute an amicable transaction.