Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) grabbed headlines late Tuesday when it announced it had named former chief operating officer Giovanni Caforio as the company's new CEO, effective May 5, to replace Lamberto Andreotti, who will become executive chairman of the board.
The move came amidst a significant shakeup of Bristol-Myers' C-level suite, which saw longtime board stalwart James Cornelius deciding not to stand for re-election as non-executive chairman but instead retiring, and Togo D. West, Jr., becoming the new lead independent director on the company's board.
Caforio will begin his new tenure after his approval by the board of directors at the annual Shareholders Meeting on May 5. The market was largely blasé about the news, barely registering it in after-hours trading, but shareholders have enjoyed a 23.5 percent boost in the company's stock price in the last three months.
Caforio is perhaps best known for leading some transformational deals in BMS's U.S. and global oncology departments. He was also chief commercial officer and chief operating officer and a member of its senior management team since 2011, as well as the company's board of directors since 2014.
A native of Italy, with his medical degree from the University of Rome, Caforio began his career in medical affairs at Abbott Laboratories. He joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2000 as vice president and general manager for its Italian division. "I am honored to have the privilege to lead this great company," Caforio said in a statement.
"Lamberto has led the successful transformation of BMS from a broad-based health care company to a Diversified Specialty BioPharma leader with his passion for our business, our people and, most importantly, our patients," he added. "I look forward to working with our very talented team of people at BMS to build on what we've accomplished, to deliver on the promise of our innovative portfolio and to continue to make a real difference for our patients."
The company lauded all of its execs in a press release Tuesday, particularly Cornelius, who had been with Bristol-Myers in one capacity or another since 2008.
"I want to thank Jim Cornelius for his many years at BMS," Andreotti said in a statement. "Through his leadership and strategic vision, Jim oversaw the successful transformation of our company. As CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb, I am grateful to have had his guidance as a mentor and a friend."
Andreotti also had a hat tip for Caforio, saying his background as a medical doctor would stand him in a good stead leading the company moving forward.
"I also want to express my excitement that Giovanni has been appointed to succeed me as CEO," Andreotti said. "I have a high level of confidence in Giovanni that is shared by everyone who has seen him consistently and successfully drive performance. He has an unmatched breadth and depth of experience. From his start in a medical role to his experience as a general manager to his roles as chief commercial officer and chief operating officer, Giovanni has demonstrated a unique ability to work across the organization to bring innovative medicines to patients."