Novartis picks UK chief to steer Japanese expansion

Novartis Consumer Healthcare’s UK general manager Godfrey Axten is quitting to take up a post with the company in Tokyo.

Godfrey oversees the marketing, sales, finance, supply and legal divisions of Novartis Consumer Health UK, which handles the vitamin-enhanced Aviva foods, Eurax skin treatments, Nicotinell tobacco substitutes, Savlon antiseptic products and the Ovaltine range.

Axten will become president of its Japanese and South Korean markets at the end of August. Novartis declined to reveal his replacement.

Axten’s new role has been created to oversee the company’s expansion into Japan, where observers say sales of lifestyle drugs are soaring. Last year, Novartis Pharma KK, the Japanese consumer healthcare subsidiary of Novartis AG of Switzerland, introduced Nicotinell TTS – the first nicotine skin patch in Japan.

The consumer health goods company has launched an online campaign for Ovaltine Power. It targets eight- to 12-year-olds who have access to an Ovaltine-branded games website.

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