Ex-Novartis (NOVN.S) Chief Executive Joe Jimenez regrets rushing into a $100,000-per-month consulting contract with U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer but said post-election uncertainty over the incoming administration's healthcare ideas put pressure on the Swiss drugmaker to sign a deal quickly.
In a statement, Ehrat said, "Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error".
Last week, Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote on Twitter that Novartis and US telecoms giant AT&T had used the services of Cohen's firm Essential Consultants - the same company used to make the payment to Daniels.
Ehrat will be replaced starting from June 1 by Shannon Thyme Klinger, who is now Novartis's ethics, risk and compliance officer.
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The one-year deal with Essential was revealed last week when lawyer Michael Avenatti, whose client Stormy Daniels is suing Cohen, announced several corporations paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the shell company. "As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end".
"We should have just definitively parted ways with this guy as soon as we knew he was not going to be a help", said Jimenez, who claimed Cohen told him he no longer worked for Trump at the time of the contract's signing. Jimenez left the company last September.
However, following its initial meeting with Cohen in March 2017, the company realised that he would be "unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated", but was unable to break the contract.