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Nestlé Just Snatched Up Another Big Biopharma Exec in Its Health Care Push

October 11, 2016, 10:57 PM UTC
Dr. Ulf M. Schneider (li.), Rice Powell.
GERMANY, BAD HOMBURG - FEBRUARY 25:?Dr. Ulf M. Schneider, CEO Fresenius (l.) and Rice Powell, CEO Fresenius Medical Care, during the Annual Press Conference in Bad Homburg, on February 25, 2015 in Bad Homburg, Germany. (Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)
Photograph by Ulrich Baumgarten—via Getty Images

Nestlé, traditionally recognized as the one of the world’s premier food giants, has been taking aggressive steps to beef up its health care business. The firm took one more step on that path Tuesday by hiring yet another biopharma veteran to join its executive ranks.

The company announced that it has tapped pharma giant Allergan’s (AGN) Paul Navarre as the new CEO of Nestlé Skin Health, the firm’s dermatology unit. Navarre was most recently the global president of Allergan’s international business outside of the U.S.

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“Paul Navarre’s consumer goods and healthcare background, his extensive international career and proven leadership skills make him ideally suited to take Nestlé Skin Health to the next level by further pursuing its strategy covering consumer solutions and self-medication, prescription as well as aesthetic and corrective products,” Nestlé (NSRGY) wrote in a statement.

The hire comes on the heels of the company’s surprising June decision to tap Dr. Ulf Schneider, a pharma company veteran and most recently the former CEO of German medical supplies maker Fresenius, as its own chief executive. And it underscores a broader effort to concentrate on consumer health, especially since the firm’s health science and skin health divisions will now report directly to Schneider rather than as standalone businesses.

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Navarre’s appointment will set up a battle with his former company, too. Allergan’s most famous product is the skin care treatment Botox, and Nestlé has joint marketing rights to a competitor called Dysport, as well as a number of other dermatology products.