Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Eric Sagonowsky (email) or Amirah Al Idrus (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
Pfizer restructuring leaves Geno Germano out of a job
Geno Germano left the company.
Geno Germano, Pfizer's ($PFE) global head of innovative pharma, is parting ways with the company as it restructures in preparation to merge with Allergan ($AGN). Germano joined Pfizer from Wyeth, where he served as president of the U.S. business and pharmaceutical business units. This week, Pfizer announced that Albert Bourla will run the combined drugs and vaccines unit following the merger, leaving Germano out of a job. Allergan's Brent Saunders will lead commercial operations as president and COO. Former Allergan EVP Bill Meury will lead specialty and consumer brands, a group that combines Allergan's eye products and aesthetics with Pfizer's consumer healthcare unit. At Pfizer, Germano was also a co-chair of the Portfolio Strategy and Investment Committee, focusing on maximizing R&D investment return, and managed the Global Health and Value function. He previously served as Pfizer's president and GM of specialty care and oncology. Story | Release
Former Google exec Jeffrey Huber to lead Illumina spinoff Grail
Jeffrey Huber was named CEO.
On the heels of a $100 million Series A, Illumina's ($ILMN) liquid biopsy spinoff Grail has named ex-Google ($GOOG) executive Jeffrey Huber as its CEO. Along with the announcement, Grail said it has secured additional funding from Google Ventures. The company will seek to build on sequencing tech developed at Illumina for early cancer detection. Previously, Huber led Google's Geo division, including Google Maps and Google Earth; he's also developed systems at eBay and Excite@Home and served on Illumina's board from 2014 to 2016. Huber will start on Feb. 29 and the company will move "as quickly as we can" over the next two years to develop products and complete tests, he told FierceMedicalDevices. Story | Release
Astellas promotes James Robinson to president of Americas operation
James Robinson was named president of Americas.
Astellas this week promoted James Robinson to the president of its Americas operations, effective April 1; he'll be responsible for the company's activities in North and South America. Since 2013, Robinson has served as the president of Astellas Pharma US and was in charge of the commercial organization in the United States. A 10-year Astellas veteran, Robinson succeeds Masao Yoshida, who will retire in June. Robinson joined the company in 2005 as the vice president of health systems and has since held positions of increasing responsibility. Prior to Astellas, Robinson spent 11 years at Schering-Plough, ultimately serving as vice president of hepatitis sales and managed care. Release
Pursuing new deals to grow the pipeline, Szela axes staffers in Aegerion reorg. Story
> Dr. Maya Halpern, Galmed Pharmaceuticals ($GLMD) chief medical officer, will retire effective April 9. Release
> Tergus Pharma hired Ashik Pavagadhi as head of manufacturing operations. Release
> Avilex appointed Mark Treherne as CEO. Release
> Amplyx Pharma appointed Dr. Michael Hodges as chief medical officer, Karen Shaw as vice president of biology and Elizabeth Gordon as vice president of regulatory affairs. Release
> Agios ($AGIO) appointed Steve Hoerter as chief commercial officer. Release
> Boston biotech Berg named Niven Narain as its CEO and Jason Haddock as its CFO and COO. Release
> Vaxart appointed Samir Singh as its senior vice president of corporate development and strategy. Release
> Robert Shelley joined Pharmaceutical Strategies Group as its chief sales officer. Release
> Unum Therapeutics named Jörn Aldag to its board of directors. Release
> Prism Medical hired Ross Scavuzzo as its new CEO. Release
> Implanet appointed Brian Ennis to head its U.S. subsidiary. Release
> Andrew Long joined Patheon as its senior vice president and global business controller. Release
> Paul VanVeldhuisen joined Emmes as its chief operating officer. Release
> Bill Bold joined Vestagen as its CEO. Release
> Avista Pharma appointed Eric Setzer as its CFO. Release
> Insulet ($PODD) appointed David Lemoine to its board of directors. Release
> Intarcia named Dr. John Yee as its vice president of global medical affairs, safety and operations. Release
> Cepheid ($CPHD) promoted Warren Kocmond to president and chief operating officer and Marc Haugen as executive vice president of engineering and operations. Release
> Asuragen named Colin Hill senior vice president of commercial operations. Release