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Aventis Plans Leadership Changes

March 4, 2002

PARIS (AP) _ Aventis SA said Monday it plans to replace management board chairman Juergen Dormann as part of a broad shake-up of its leadership ranks.

The French-German pharmaceutical company, based in Strasbourg, France, said it will propose to shareholders a plan to replace half its management board members and recommend that board member Igor Landau take over as chairman.

As part of the shake-up, designed to increase the company’s focus on its pharmaceutical business, vice chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou is to be replaced by board member Horst Waesche, Aventis said.

Dormann and Fourtou are to remain with Aventis, taking over as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of its supervisory board.

Aventis, like many German firms, divides power between a management board, whose members are in charge of the company’s day-to-day affairs, and a supervisory board, which names top managers and is responsible for general oversight.

Last month, Aventis reported that 2001 net profit at its core pharmaceutical arm _ Aventis Pharma _ rose 40 percent from the previous year due to strong sales of medications such as the antihistamine Allegra.

``Under the joint leadership of Igor Landau and Horst Waesche, the new team will build on the strong performance of Aventis Pharma,″ Dormann and Fourtou said in a statement.

Richard Markham, former chairman of the management board at Aventis Pharma, will join the board as chief operating officer and Patrick Langlois is to become chief financial officer.

The management changes are to be proposed to the supervisory board on Wednesday and to shareholders on May 14, the company said.

Shares of Aventis climbed 0.8 percent to close at 84.70 euros ($73.49) on the Paris Stock Exchange on Monday before the announcement.


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