Thank you very much, Christoph Franz!
At this year’s General Meeting, Christoph Franz’s many years of work at the head of our company will come to an end. After twelve years on the Board of Directors and nine years as its Chairman, Christoph Franz has decided not to stand for re-election.
There is no doubt that, throughout his tenure, our outgoing Chairman has strongly influenced Roche’s strategic development. He has made a considerable personal contribution to the success of our company. Although he joined Roche from elsewhere in 2011, Christoph Franz was able to make valuable contributions to the Board of Directors from the outset. This was undoubtedly a result of his many years of experience in international companies. Together with the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, he did not simply manage problems, but tackled them promptly and provided constructive solutions. In so doing, he confidently and successfully steered our company through challenging times with great dedication. Examples I would like to mention here include Roche’s contribution during the pandemic and handling the patent expiry of our three most widely used cancer medicines.
In addition, Christoph Franz made an important contribution to expanding Roche’s strategic flexibility by repurchasing the Roche shares held by Novartis. Since he took on the top role at Roche, digitalisation in the healthcare sector has also accelerated – and alongside it, a far-reaching transformation of our company. Roche today is clearly different from Roche a decade ago.
Giving people worldwide access to our medicines and diagnostics has always been one of Christoph Franz’s particular concerns. During his travels to Roche subsidiaries in Africa, Asia and South America, he therefore always took the time to visit local hospitals and to talk to doctors, local nursing staff and patients. Together with local government representatives, he effected a remarkable number of agreements between Roche and governments around the world, with the aim of working together to improve local healthcare systems.
I have personally always appreciated that Christoph Franz, with his wealth of entrepreneurial experience and wide-ranging knowledge, has advocated not only obvious solutions but also – and in particular – some challenging choices that were, and still are, key to safeguarding Roche’s future.
On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, the Oeri, Hoffmann and Duschmalé families, and myself, I would like to sincerely thank our Chairman for all of this.
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