Novartis has announced that its chief executive, Joseph Jimenez, plans to step down from the role in January 2018, and to retire from the company on Aug. 31, 2018. Vasant (Vas) Narasimhan, the company's global head of drug development and chief medical officer, has been chosen by Novartis' board of directors to succeed him, effective Feb. 1, 2018. Narasimhan, who is a member of Novartis' executive committee, joined the pharmaceutical group in 2005.