Novartis appoints Karen Hale as Chief Legal Officer

Novartis announced the appointment of Karen L. Hale (pictured) as Chief Legal Officer. She will report to Vas Narasimhan, M.D., CEO of Novartis and become a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN), effective May 15, 2021. Ms. Hale will be based in Basel, Switzerland and succeeds Shannon Klinger, who will join Moderna as Chief legal officer. Tom Kendris will continue as Chief Legal Officer ad interim until Ms. Hale joins.

Ms. Hale brings to Novartis over 20 years of deep, global legal and compliance experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She joins Novartis from AbbVie where she held the role of Vice President, Deputy General Counsel. Prior to this, she held the position of Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer at AbbVie for 6 years, leading the global compliance program and acting as a trusted advisor to AbbVie’s Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors. Ms Hale joined Abbott in 1997 and transitioned when AbbVie was created. She has overseen and managed complex commercial litigation globally and provided counsel on a variety of significant corporate issues. Prior to joining Abbott, she was an associate attorney with the law firm Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Illinois.

“Karen is a proven senior legal leader with extensive global experience across key healthcare legal and compliance domains. She also brings to the Novartis executive team deep US experience and a passion to advance racial justice,” said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis. “I welcome her to Novartis and look forward to her contributing to Novartis’ journey of reimagining medicine. I want to thank Tom Kendris for his continued service in this time of transition and for his ongoing commitment to Novartis.”

Karen Hale said, “I am excited to join Novartis, a company dedicated to addressing some of society’s most challenging healthcare conditions using innovative science and technology.  As a member of the ECN, I look forward to contributing to the company’s continued success.”