Pierre Fabre has recruited the president of pharmaceuticals at Abbott Laboratories, Oliver Bohoun, to take over from Jean-Pierre Garnier as chief executive.

The independent French firm has wasted no time in finding a replacement for Dr Garnier, former chief executive at GlaxoSmithKline, whose departure was announced last week. Mr Bohoun, 51, will take over the top job on September 1.

Pierre Fabre said that after an international career, "at the end of which he was entrusted with the highest operational responsibilities within the pharmaceutical sector”, Mr Bohoun has chosen to return to France. The latter, who also served as director of GlaxoSmithKline's commercial operations in Europe from 2001 to 2003, says he will work in close collaboration with Pierre Fabre’s eponymous chairman and founder.

Mr Bohoun will be replaced on an interim basis by Richard Gonzalez, Abbott's former president and chief operating officer who retired in 2007 but returned to the company last year in 2009 to head up Abbott Ventures.