Ipsen has started a hunt for a new chief executive after deciding to separate the CEO and chairman roles and after the departure of deputy CEO Christel Bories.
The current CEO of the French company, Marc de Garidel, will become chairman once the new CEO is appointed, said Ipsen, which hopes to fill the position within the next few months. Bories has departed after two years at the drugmaker, citing 'disagreements' with the board over strategy.
Analysts have suggested that Bories' departure may have been prompted by a decision by the board to look outside the company for a new CEO.
In a statement, Ipsen said Bories had made a "significant contribution to the operational transformation and improved results" at the company. It also said that its 2015 financial objectives and outlook for 2020 remain unchanged.
Splitting the two senior roles "meets the need for our group to accelerate its international development in an increasingly complex environment", commented de Garidel, with the new CEO focusing on business strategy while as non-executive chairman de Garidel "… will be able to focus fully on leading and animating the board of directors".
Specialty drugmaker Ipsen is in the process of a revamp of its business and has said expansion into emerging markets is a key strategic priority as sales in France have been impacted by government moves to drive generic drug use.
The company has also been building up its neuroendocrine tumours (NET) franchise, recently launching Somatuline (lanreotide) in the US and Europe and acquiring OctreoPharm Sciences, which has a NET therapy in early development, for $50m.
Last August, the company also reported positive phase III results for telotristat in carcinoid syndrome in NET patients. Ipsen licenses the drug from Lexicon Pharmaceuticals and has rights outside the US and Japan.