Franz Replacing Humer at Roche Next Year

New Chairman of Roche, Christoph Franz
New Chairman of Roche, Christoph Franz

Pharmaceutical giant and the world’s largest producer of anti-cancer drugs, Roche Holding AG, is hiring the chief executive officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Christoph Franz. He will be taking the place of Chairman Franz Humer beginning next year.

The nomination of Franz will be presented to the shareholders at the annual shareholder meeting to be held on March 4, 2014. Franz’s contract with Lufthansa will end on May 31.
The outgoing chairman, Humer, has led Roche for over ten years, is given the credit for leading Roche’s unique strategy of coupling its diagnostics and drugs groups together to create boutique medications which can be targeted to individual patients.

Humer is 67, and was CEO when Roche purchased a 30 percent stake in the US biotech company Genentech Inc in 1999. Ten years later Humer helped to oversee the complete takeover of the company as chairman. The buyout allowed Roche to acquire its best-selling oncology drugs Rituxan and Herceptin. Herceptin is the company’s flagship “personalized” tumor treatment. It is an anti-breast cancer medication which is teamed up with a diagnostic test which reveals which women it is most likely to help.

Christoph Franz is 53 and has been the CEO of Lufthansa since 2011. Before that he was the CEO of Swiss International Airlines.

About Amelia Jacobs

Amelia Jacobs began her career in business following a surprisingly successful trip to China. Having visited the region as a tourist, she returned to America as an import-exporter. Today, Jacobs runs a thriving import-export company, splitting her time between Chicago and Shanghai. Contact Amelia at amelia[at]