May 31, 2017 – On the heels of finding its new CEO, Spencer Stuart is being brought back in by Alexion Pharmaceuticals to lead searches for a CFO and head of research and development. R&D chief Martin Mackay will retire at the end of this year and CFO Dave Anderson, whose short-lived tenure began last December with the departure of predecessor Vikas Sinha, will step down at the end of August.
In addition, chief commercial officer Carsten Thiel and EVP and chief human resources officer Clare Carmichael are also leaving the New Haven, CT-based company. Alexion declined to comment as to whether another search firm was being used to replace the outgoing executives.
In March, Spencer Stuart tapped Ludwig N. Hantson Ph.D., as CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, replacing David Hallal who resigned for personal reasons. Dr. Hantson previously served as president and CEO of Baxalta, a public company spin-off from Baxter and a global leader in the development of therapies for orphan and underserved diseases in hematology, immunology and oncology.
“These leadership transitions come during a period of great strength and momentum,” said Leonard Bell, M.D., chairman of the board of directors. “The fundamentals of Alexion are very strong and we have three highly effective therapies and a robust rare disease pipeline.” The company, he added, is well-positioned for sustainable growth. “Alexion has a clear strategy to deliver long-term growth, and the board and I are fully committed to ensuring a smooth transition as we position the company for continued success as one of the world’s most innovative biopharmaceutical companies.”
Tapping Outside Talent for Life Science and Healthcare
For these top 50 executive recruiters working in the life science and healthcare sectors, the last decade has been one of transformation. Pressure on pricing, regulatory changes, emerging innovations, growth, and an uncertain political environment have all helped shape a new field of play.
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Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and delivering life-transforming therapies for patients with devastating and rare disorders. It developed and commercialized Soliris, the first and only approved complement inhibitor to treat patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, two life-threatening ultra-rare disorders.
Spencer Stuart’s global biopharma practice has conducted more than 700 executive and board searches for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, from start-ups to major industry players that account for half of sector sales over the past three years. The practice works with clients to place board directors, C-suite leadership and senior leaders in research and development, manufacturing and quality, managed markets and reimbursements, commercial, human resources and other functional roles. Consultant Mark Broer leads the practice. He specializes in recruiting CEOs, C-level executives, board directors and chairmen within the life sciences sector, with a particular focus on senior level international appointments.
The global biopharma industry, according to Spencer Stuart, continues to evolve as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields integrate, increasingly sharing talent, technology and business models.
The rise of generics, said Spencer Stuart, has contributed to an increasingly competitive landscape. This has made innovation — in personalized medicine, outcomes research and reimbursement models — a top priority and market advantage, requiring biopharma leaders to have broader experience, including a background in drug development, commercialization and deal-making.
Turning to Search Firms
A number of pharmaceutical organizations have turned to executive recruiters in recent months to help find new leaders. Here’s a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Coulter Partners has placed Dr. Sonia Quaratino as chief medical officer of Kymab Group, a human monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Quaratino is an immunologist and joins Kymab from Novartis, where she served as global clinical program leader.
Curran Partners/ECI Group recruited Gary P. Budney as VP, head of quality assurance and compliance at publicly-traded Achillion Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Budney has held a number of top positions, including VP of quality at CorePharma, senior director of global compliance at Schering-Plough, and VP of operations at Cardinal Health.
Fairway Consulting Group placed Daniel Passeri as president and CEO at Cue Biopharma, a start-up company which develops drugs that can command and control a select T-cell response. Mr. Passeri previously served as chief officer, technology management and business development at The Jackson Laboratory.
Slone Partners placed Dr. Michael Dugan as chief medical officer of Clinical Genomics, a biotechnology company that develops innovative products for colorectal cancer diagnosis. Dr. Dugan is a well-known biotechnology leader with extensive clinical experience in both commercial and academic settings.
Earlier this year, Carmichael Fisher was selected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to lead its search for a new CEO. Principle consultant Tarquin Bennett-Coles is leading the assignment along with managing director Justin Hobday. CEPI’s mission is to stop future epidemics by faster developing new vaccines for a safer world.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Chase Barbe, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media