Novo has best-perfoming CEO outside of US

Novo Nordisk’s Lars Rebien Sørensen was the top-ranked non-American on Harvard Business Review's list of the world's best CEOs, coming in at number six overall.

Novo has best-perfoming CEO outside of US
Novo Nordisk’s Lars Rebien Sørensen is the sixth best CEO in the world, according to the Harvard Business Review. Photo: Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk’s Lars Rebien Sørensen is one of the “best performing CEOs in the world” according to a global ranking from the Harvard Business Review
Sørensen was ranked number six on the list and was the top CEO from outside of the United States. Top CEO Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon and the rest of the top five are all based in the US. 
Sørensen, who has been at Novo since 2000, has produced a 621 percent total country-adjusted shareholder return and industry-adjusted returns of 1,214 percent. 
The Harvard Business Review’s rankings looked at the companies that were in the S&P Global 1200 at the end of 2013 and ranked CEOs on a variety of metrics including increase in market capitalization and country-adjusted shareholder returns. 
“How do you measure a CEO’s worth? We decided to approach the task scientifically, basing the ranking on hard data, not on reputation or anecdote,” the Harvard Business Review’s editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius said in a statement. 
“We acknowledge, of course, that being a good CEO is about far more than just investment performance. Leading a company and creating value depend on many skills that are hard to measure—strategic vision, authenticity, long-term planning. And investors certainly aren’t the only stakeholders that need tending to; the best-run companies connect effectively with customers, employees, and the communities where they operate,” Ignatius added. 
Sørensen's total compensation of $2,760,550 made him just the 65th best-paid CEO on the list. 
The Harvard Business Review’s ranking included CEOs representing 22 different nationalities, but only two women were included in the 100-person list. 

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Novo Nordisk sees increased profits despite pandemic

Denmark's Novo Nordisk, the world's number one producer of insulin, on Wednesday reported an eight percent bump to net profits in 2020 despite the pandemic leading to a drop in new patients.

Novo Nordisk sees increased profits despite pandemic
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

In line with analysts' expectations, the company recorded an annual net profit of 42.1 billion Danish kroner (5.6 billion euros).

Revenue came in at 126.9 billion kroner, up four percent compared to a year earlier, not counting currency effects, driven by sales of GLP-1 products for treating diabetes.

According to Novo Nordisk, the company claimed 47.2 percent of the global market for insulin in November 2020, and 39.4 percent of the US market, which is the drugmaker's single largest market.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that there are over 425 million diabetics in the world, a number expected to top 629 million by 2045 as changing diets and lifestyles provoke the condition whereby the effectiveness of naturally produced insulin is reduced and people cannot convert sugar in their bloodstream for use as energy, causing health problems such as heart disease, vision loss and kidney disease.

However, only half of people with diabetes are currently diagnosed and of those only half are receiving treatment, according to the IDF, which says an estimated four million people die from the disease and the health complications it causes every year.

The Covid-19 pandemic cut into the number of people receiving help, according to Novo Nordisk.

“During the period of social distancing implemented in many markets, fewer new patients are initiating treatment,” said the company.

Novo Nordisk also develops and markets treatments for haemophilia and growth disorders, where sales fell by four percent and increased by six percent respectively, not counting currency effects.

Sales of its anti-obesity medicines, mainly Saxenda, increased by three percent.

In 2021, Novo Nordisk expects sales to grow by five to nine percent and operating profit to increase by four to eight percent.

In the early hours of trading on the Copenhagen stock exchange, shares in Novo Nordisk were up 4.6 percent.

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