Arun Sawhney to replace Atul Sobti as Ranbaxy CEO

     Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Atul Sobti will step down from his positions effective August 19, Arun Sawhney, who is currently president of Ranbaxy's global pharmaceutical business, will take over as Managing Director. The announcement came as the pharmaceutical firm announced a 48 per cent fall in net profit for the April-June quarter. The company's second quarter profit stood at 72 million dollars, as against 139 million dollars in the year-ago period. "We are pleased to appoint Sawhney as the managing director, further advancing the company with the decades of global experience he has in the industry," said Tsutomu Une, chairman, Ranbaxy in a statement. The company, however, did not provide any specific reasons for the change of guard.. The company also reported a robust 24 per cent revenue growth for the second quarter as sales picked up across key markets in the US, Europe, Russia and India. Revenues stood at 458 million dollars compared to 368 million dollars during the same quarter of last fiscal. "The transfer of new drug discovery research assets to Daiichi will provide a sharper focus to our R&D effort, in our core area of generics. This is in line with our commitment to optimise synergies through the hybrid business model," said Sobti. Sobti, who joined the company in October, 2005, was appointed as the CEO and Managing Director last year in May. Ranbaxy shares, which the market values at four billion dollars, ended down 0.5 percent in a flat market. The shares have fallen 13.6 percent this year, under performing the 9.5 percent rise in the sector index and the main index's 3.5 percent gain.

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