Hovione has appointed as CEO its chief operating officer, Jean-Luc Herbeaux, effective April 1. Herbeaux succeeds Guy Villax, who has been CEO of the family-owned pharmaceutical services company for 25 years. Herbeaux joined the firm in 2020. He previously held several management positions at the German chemical maker Evonik Industries, where his final role was head of the health-care business. In November, he and Villax outlined a $170 million investment program through 2023 that they said will increase Hovione’s production capacity by about 25%. Villax is credited with moving the company into the exclusive synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for drug industry customers. Hovione, one of several family-owned drug services companies in Europe, saw sales grow by 10 times under Villax’s stewardship. Major investments included the purchase of a Pfizer plant in Ireland in 2009. Villax says Hovione’s board chose to hire a nonfamily CEO in response to growth over the past 5 years. “When a company employs 1,600 or 1,700, you need skills that other people have much more developed than I have,” he tells C&EN. Hovione has about 2,000 employees.