Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Musical Chairs Pharma Style

Well, back to were I started my Blog a few short weeks ago, focusing on the talented folks who understanding drug development; the people who are key to moving forward the pipeline inside of Mega Pharma.....

As Mr Carroll outlines below the game of musical chairs has begun:

Genentech Execs hit the door as Roche takes over
By John Carroll
The game of musical chairs at the newly-acquired Genentech has begun. And it's starting at the top.
Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson (photo) has been handed the role of chairman of a new board of directors, which will be drawn from Roche's executive ranks and also include outside directors. And Susan Desmond-Hellmann (photo), the highly-lauded president of development at Genentech and a key player in the advancement of a slate of cancer blockbusters, will stay on until the middle of the year and then hand over the assignment to someone else. She will take an advisory role and join Genentech's scientific resource board.
Richard Scheller, now the executive vice president with Genentech Research, will lead an independent center that will pursue the biotech's research and early development activities. Roche had said at the time it forged the $47 billion deal to buy the outstanding shares of Genentech that it would keep that work separate from Roche's other development work.
Pascal Soriot has been named chief executive at Genentech North America, which will combine Roche Pharma North America and Genentech. Genentech CFO David Ebersman and Steve Juelsgaard, chief compliance officer, are leaving the company.
Investors have been paying close attention to Roche's absorption of Genentech, saying that it's critical for the pharma company to keep the top talent at Genentech in order to get full value for the acquisition. But these executives have been made rich in the buyout and many seem content to move out of their day-to-day roles as Roche takes the reins.
"By and large, the Genentech leadership will move on, staying as long as their golden handcuffs require them to," venture capitalist Steven Burrill told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. "The spirit of entrepreneurship won't be the same. People who were excited by entrepreneurship will find new homes and those that are comfortable with a large corporate structure will stay."

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