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Pharma appointments, March 2012

Recent high-profile moves in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries
Mover of the month is Alex Gorsky, who has become chief executive of Johnson & Johnson

Mover of the month

 Alex Gorsky, J&J

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has selected Alex Gorsky to succeed long-serving chief executive William Weldon at its annual meeting in April 2012. Gorsky (51) is currently vice chairman of J&J's executive committee and will take over from Weldon, the chairman and CEO since 2002, on April 26. Weldon will continue as J&J's chairman. Gorsky started working for J&J in 1988 as a sales representative for the firm's Janssen Pharmaceutica subsidiary, rising to the position of president of Janssen in 2001 and then chairman of the group's Europe, Middle East and Africa pharmaceuticals business in 2003. He had a four-year stint at Novartis between 2004 and 2008, before returning to head J&J's Ethicon medical device business.



AstraZeneca (AZ) has appointed Dr Mike Poole to lead its new 'virtual' neuroscience Innovative Medicines unit. He joins from US-based Link Medicine and previously he held senior neuroscience research posts at Wyeth and Pfizer. He also served as chief medical officer at Hypnion, a biotech company that was acquired by Lilly in 2006. At AZ he will be responsible for large and small molecule projects. He will recruit a team of 40-50 AZ scientists who will be based in the US and UK, who will conduct research through an external network of academic and industry partners.


Mike Poole, AstraZeneca

Ute Bockstegers, Bayer UK  

Ute Bockstegers has joined Bayer UK and Ireland as its new chief financial officer (CFO) and head of business administration and partnering. She moves to the company from Bayer's Canadian operations, where she served as CFO, and will provide management, leadership and strategic direction for the company's central service functions. She started at Bayer as a marketing representative 29 years ago and has held leadership positions across the organisation and within its operations in Germany, Ireland, the United States and Canada. She takes over from outgoing CFO Stephen Waite, who is retiring.

Dan Zabrowski has been appointed head of Roche Applied Science in its diagnostics division. Previously, he was global head of partnering at Roche as well as a member of the Roche corporate executive committee and the board of Roche's Japan-based subsidiary Chugai. He succeeds Paul Brown, who will remain head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics. Zabrowski joined Syntex in 1993, before Roche acquired the company in 1994. He has been with Roche ever since. General manager of Roche Pharma in France, Sophie Kornowski-Bonnet, takes Zabrowski's old role as head of partnering.

 Dan Zabrowski, Roche

Dietmar Leitner, Napp Pharmaceuticals

Dietmar Leitner, former general manager at Mundipharma Gesellschaft, has joined Napp Pharmaceuticals as managing director. The announcement ends an eight-month search to fill the position following Antony Mattessich's decision to leave the company in May 2011 to become regional director Europe at Mundipharma International. Leitner has spent 16 years working in the pharmaceutical industry.

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has appointed John Wilkinson as director of medical devices. Wilkinson served as chief executive of European medical technology body, Eucomed, for three years. Prior to that, he was director general of the UK's body for medical technology, the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), for four years. In his new role, Wilkinson will lead on the safety of medical devices and the review of future medical devices regulation.

John Wilkinson, MHRA



Nigel Brooksby, Health Information

Nigel Brooksby has been appointed deputy chair at Health Information, a UK-based company that aims to provide and circulate patient information to improve compliance. Brooksby, who is also chair of the UK Life Sciences Council, has almost 40 years of experience in the pharma industry. Other positions he currently holds  include board advisor at, board strategic advisor at Healthcare at Home, director at Novocta Biosystems and adviser to the Wellcome Trust. Previously, he was chair and MD at sanofi-aventis UK and president of the UK Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

Former president and general manager of Lilly Germany, Thomas Wellner has been appointed CEO of CML Healthcare. Prior to his appointment, Wellner was president and CEO of Canadian biopharma Therapure Biopharma, from 2008 to 2011. He has also spent 20 years at Eli Lilly & Co, holding senior roles in China, the US, the UK and Latin America.

 Thomas Wellner, Lilly Germany

James Murdoch will step down from GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) board of directors after the annual general meeting later this year. Murdoch, who is former chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, will focus on his duties as non-executive chairman of BSkyB and relocate to the US. Sir Crispin Davis, Sir Robert Wilson and Larry Culp will also step down from the board in 2013. Davis will be succeeded by Tom de Swaan, who becomes chairman of the remuneration committee from January 1, 2013, and Judy Lewent, who takes the chair of the audit and risk committee from the same date. Sir Deryck Maughan will succeed Sir Robert Wilson as senior independent non-executive director at the closure of GSK's annual general meeting in 2013.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has appointed Gerald Storch, the chairman and CEO of Toys 'R' Us, to its board of directors. Storch will serve as a member of its audit committee as well as on the compensation and management development committee of the board of directors. Storch has had high level positions at a number of retail and business services. Prior to joining Toys 'R' Us in 2006, he was vice chairman at retailers Target Corporation and has also been a partner at McKinsey & Co.

Michael Severino has been promoted to the dual role of senior VP, global development and corporate chief medical officer at Amgen. The former VP, global development, will take over from Sean Harper who has been appointed executive VP, R&D at the US biotech. Harper's appointment was announced in December 2011, at the same time CEO Kevin Sharer declared his intention to step down this May. Severino has spent eight years at Amgen, where he also served as senior director of inflammation early development and head of the company's proof-of-concept group within medical sciences. His previous experience includes several years at Merck Research Laboratories. Harper joined Amgen in 2002 as vice president of development, and established its medical sciences capability to focus on translational medicine research. Like Severino, he worked at Merck Research Laboratories. He is also a member of the PhRMA Regulatory Affairs Co-ordinating Committee.

Mitchell Gold is to leave his position as CEO and president of Dendreon after eight years in charge. He will be replaced by former president and CEO of Savient Pharmaceuticals, John Johnson. Gold will remain at the biotech as executive chair until June 30, 2012, when Johnson will take over as chair in addition to his other positions, with Gold to continue as a director. Gold had been CEO and president since 2003, prior to which he was vice president of business development and chief business officer. Johnson joined Pfizer in 1983. He had been Savient's CEO since January 2011. Prior to this he was senior vice president of Eli Lilly & Co and president of Lilly's oncology business unit. He joined Lilly when it took over ImClone Systems where he was CEO.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has appointed Luc Verhelst as its new head of information and communications technology. He replaces Hans-Georg Wagner, who had been in charge of the agency's IT systems since 2002. Verhelst joins from Isabel, a Belgium-based financial services provider, where he was chief operating officer from February, 2011. He will oversee a variety of IT operations, including financial and budget systems, human resources, electronic document management, record management, print and file serving and access control systems. He has over 20 years' experience in senior IT roles.

Thomas Christély has resigned from his role as CEO at Silence Therapuetics after only five months, for personal reasons. He is replaced by chief business officer Tony Sedgwick. Christély was previously CEO at Silence Therapeutics AG. Sedgwick joined Silence in September 2011 to lead a new business development team. Prior to this, he was CEO of Novacta and chair of the Norwegian biotech company Plastid. He has also spent more than 15 years at Roche.

Thomas Shenk has retired from Merck & Co's board of directors after 11 years to focus on a new business venture. He will work with Princeton University, where he has been Elkins Professor in the department of molecular biology since 1984 and was chairman of the department from 1996 to 2004, to commercialise discoveries in the field of antiviral therapy made at his Princeton laboratory.

Tim Watts has joined UK-based Oxford BioMedica as its chief financial officer (CFO) and company secretary. Watts takes over from Andrew Wood and moves to the firm from Archimedes Pharma, where he was also CFO. Watts has over 30 years' experience in multinational and entrepreneurial businesses. In 1985 he joined ICI, rising to finance director of the Zeneca Pharmaceuticals business.
Following the 1998 merger of Astra and Zeneca, he  became group financial controller of AstraZeneca in 2001.

Mark Brincat
has been appointed product development director at Exco InTouch, a UK-based firm that provides interactive mobile patient communication tools for clinical trials. He joins from Pfizer where he spent 13 years. 

Stephen MacMillan has resigned from his roles as chair, president and CEO of Stryker Corporation. He departs the US-based medtech firm for family reasons. Interim CEO is Stryker's chief financial officer, Curt Hartman, while lead independent director William Parfet takes over as non-executive chairman. Hartman has been with the company since 1990 and chief financial officer and vice president since 2009. Parfet has been a director at Stryker for almost 20 years alongside his role as chair and CEO of MPI Research.

Caudex Medical has appointed Andy Bowman as its new global head and Gary Burd as director of scientific services. Bowman joins the UK-based medical education agency from the Choice Group. Burd joins from Complete HealthVizion.  

RSA has promoted John Callagher to head of EMEA. He joined the UK-based company in August 2011 as head of RSA Switzerland and previously served as global managing director of SpenglerFox. RSA has also promoted Kay Wardle to managing director of RSA Executive Search, and Darren Spevick to client relationship director, EMEA.

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