Bayer has appointed a seasoned executive from Pfizer, Olivier Brandicourt. to head up its healthcare unit.

Dr Brandicourt, 57, has been appointed as chairman of Bayer Healthcare and will take over from interim chief Wolfgang Plischke on November 1. The latter has been running the unit since Joerg Reinhardt left earlier this year to become chairman of Novartis.

Bayer noted that Dr Brandicourt "has 25 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical industry", including senior responsibilities in France, the USA, Canada and the UK. He has been a member of the executive leadership team of Pfizer for the last three years and until recently he was president and general manager of the emerging markets and established products business units.

Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers said that "we have found a strong leader with outstanding international experience and a successful track record in the healthcare industry. I am convinced that he can significantly contribute to the further growth of our healthcare business".